Food donation - tax writeoff?

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jthornock-p40
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Food donation - tax writeoff?

Postby jthornock-p40 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:54 am

Our ward will receive a donation of food from a local restaurant for our ward social. The value of the food will be several hundred dollars. The restaurant wants a reciept so that it can write off the value of the food as a tax deduction.

My guess is that we aren't allowed to create a receipt for this purpose. Do you guys know what the policy is on this issue? Is there documentation one way or the other?

Thanks!

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:26 pm

I think the first place I'd look is the budgeting policy. Unless the food is actually going to a service project, this sounds like an attempt to side-step the limitations of the budget.

The Wiki touches on some of this, but I suspect you'll have to go back to the source: The Church Handbook of Instructions.
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jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:19 pm

I don't know what the handbook says, but it sounds like you need to figure out how to process an in-kind donation.

I would think part of that would include having the restaurant provide a statement of value of the goods donated. This is what typically happens when you donate clothing to a charity like Deseret Industries, Good Will, Salvation Army, etc. They ask you to declare the value of the donated goods, and then give you a receipt acknowledging that they received the donation. You then use their receipt as tax documentation that you did in fact make the claimed donation.

This is likely what the restaurant is seeking.

Personally, I don't see a problem with a business wanting to make such a donation to the ward, however, I would check the handbook nevertheless just to stay on the right side of Church policy.

EDIT: At first glance it looks like page 155 and 157 are the only handbook 1 references to in-kind donations, and even there it only seems to really address payment of tithing and fast offerings in-kind. If, after consulting the handbook, your bishop is still unsure about how to proceed it sounds like a consult with the stake president is in order.

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Postby lajackson » Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:48 am

jbh001 wrote:Personally, I don't see a problem with a business wanting to make such a donation to the ward, however, I would check the handbook nevertheless just to stay on the right side of Church policy.

. . . If, after consulting the handbook, your bishop is still unsure about how to proceed it sounds like a consult with the stake president is in order.


This is just my own personal opinion, and I cannot back it up with a handbook reference (well, not quite).

I do not think it would hurt if the bishop just wrote a letter on ward letterhead thanking the store for donating "25 pounds of ham and 15 cans of corn and green beans" to the ward, without specifying any value. The store knows what it is worth, and all they really want is an acknowledgement that they gave the stuff to a church.

A short letter from the bishop would meet their needs.

As for padding the budget, I suppose it would depend on what kind of goods the store gave -- you know, the difference between hard corn on the cob and softer buns or rolls. [grin]

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Postby Mikerowaved » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:41 am

lajackson wrote:I do not think it would hurt if the bishop just wrote a letter on ward letterhead thanking the store for donating "25 pounds of ham and 15 cans of corn and green beans" to the ward, without specifying any value.

That makes a lot of sense to me. That's exactly what you'd get if you drop off items to places like Deseret Industries, Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc, and ask for a receipt. Even donating a car or boat to a charity will get you the same kind of thing. No value is ever given on the receipt, just a description of the donated item.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:08 pm

jbh001 wrote:Personally, I don't see a problem with a business wanting to make such a donation to the ward


Personally, I'd see a big distinction between a business that wanted to make such a donation and asking for it. My concern would be if this was a case of the latter.

This same issue comes up with computers for the FHC. If someone wants to donate one, great! But you can't solicit for one. That's my measuring stick for this situation.
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