Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

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garth.tingey
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby garth.tingey » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:57 pm

I believe the purpose in bringing your statements to tithing settlement (if that information is not available to your ward) may be so they could give an accurate signed statement to you for tax purposes.


I have paid directly to the church headquarters for years and my donations don't show up on any of my wards records (apparently unlike other members of the forum). I have brought my statements from the finance department to tithing settlement in the past - particularly if there is a new bishop - so that I don't get a funny look when I make my tithing declaration when as far as the bishop is aware I have paid $0. Probably not required, but it makes things a little easier.

As for tax purposes, I have always received a signed form from the finance department of the church for the donations paid directly to them. The bishop doesn't sign the form because the unit never handled those funds.

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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby jdlessley » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:17 am

mschaum wrote:I believe the purpose in bringing your statements to tithing settlement (if that information is not available to your ward) may be so they could give an accurate signed statement to you for tax purposes.

The tax valid statement the unit provides only includes those donations made to that unit. Donations made to other units are included in a tax statement provided by the finance department in a statement sent to the current unit through MLS.The tax statement for these individuals will include donations made to all units, including the current unit. Donations directly to the Church are also included in the statement from the finance department to the current unit through MLS provided the member has not requested the donations be kept private. Donations in kind are provided in a statement from the finance department directly to the individual and not sent through the current unit.

There is no requirement to bring tax statements to tithing settlement. In fact those statements are not provided until January after tithing settlement has occured in the previous year.
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Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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johnshaw
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby johnshaw » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:08 am

The statements that come from CHQ also provide the official tax statements.
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marcytopham
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby marcytopham » Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:18 am

I don't completely understand the statement from CHQ. The first line says, "The tax valid statement the unit provides only includes those donations made to that unit". That indicates the ward will not see your donations made through direct deposit. That's just the way it is, period. But then it goes on to say, "Donations directly to the Church are also included in the statement from the finance department to the current unit through MLS, provided the member has not requested the donations be kept private." That makes it sound like, yes they are reported back to your unit/ward, but the ward won't be printing it on your receipt. So, does my ward see the amount I donated via direct deposit? I thought all donations made via direct deposit were automatically kept confidential and there wasn't a choice to have it otherwise. (Not that I want it otherwise, I just want to understand.) Also, what does MLS stand for, I'm drawing a blank on that acronym?

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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby eblood66 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:45 am

ladybuglady wrote:I don't completely understand the statement from CHQ. The first line says, "The tax valid statement the unit provides only includes those donations made to that unit". That indicates the ward will not see your donations made through direct deposit. That's just the way it is, period. But then it goes on to say, "Donations directly to the Church are also included in the statement from the finance department to the current unit through MLS, provided the member has not requested the donations be kept private." That makes it sound like, yes they are reported back to your unit/ward, but the ward won't be printing it on your receipt. So, does my ward see the amount I donated via direct deposit? I thought all donations made via direct deposit were automatically kept confidential and there wasn't a choice to have it otherwise. (Not that I want it otherwise, I just want to understand.) Also, what does MLS stand for, I'm drawing a blank on that acronym?

MLS stands for Member and Leader Services. It is the software installed on the computer in the clerk's office that clerks use to handle most of membership and financial administration matters.

There are two different statements involved here. One is the statement printed from the data in MLS. This statement only includes donations made in the unit itself using the MLS software. The other is a PDF file that gets sent from headquarters through the MLS software. This statement is generated at headquarters. MLS is just used as a kind of email system in this case. The clerk simply prints this PDF and distributes the statement. I'm pretty sure these statements already have a signature so the bishop doesn't have to go through and sign them. This statement contains all charitable donations made to any unit or to headquarters. Technically the clerk can look at this statement but I would expect most clerks just print it and put it in an envelope to mail or give to the recipient.

Based on jdlessley's statement (note that jdlessley is not a church representative--he's just another forum member who is relaying what he was told by CHQ--I don't know if he was giving a direct quote or paraphrasing), the second statement will contain direct deposit donations unless you've requested that they be private. It sounds like the option to choose whether they are private or not is recent. jslessley's statement doesn't really address whether direct deposit which was set up some time ago is automatically considered private. Unless he has additional information on that and responds, you may have to contact the finance department to find out.

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johnshaw
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby johnshaw » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:21 am

It sounds like the option to choose whether they are private or not is recent.


It is only after the Church designed their systems to pass-through to MLS (around aug 2013 IIRC) did the online payments become exposed to MLS. The option to keep it private must be executed separately for each individual.

jslessley's statement doesn't really address whether direct deposit which was set up some time ago is automatically considered private. Unless he has additional information on that and responds, you may have to contact the finance department to find out.


Not sure why he needs to address it with further information, but I can testify before all the earth that This is correct, as someone who has been paying this way for almost two decades my statements have never transferred to MLS - They were grandfathered in, meaning that the Church assumed, for those already paying prior to the change, that they be kept private, unless the individual specifically asked that they be transferred to the local unit. This was based on a phone call I made to the Finance Department (I was a stake clerk at the time) regarding my own personal situation, and online conversations with copies of email addressed to others indicating the same thing.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby lajackson » Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:02 pm

I set up donations directly to Church headquarters using bank bill pay several months ago. I was not given the option to keep them hidden from the local unit. They all began immediately appearing in MLS along with all of the donations I directly handed to a member of the bishopric.

In reading this topic (and others), it appears that those who set up direct payment to the Church some time ago, or who were given the option, do not have those donations included in the regular MLS financial reports. This still appears to be true.

As was mentioned earlier, the Church will send a pdf file to each unit via MLS with statements to print out and give to the members of that unit. The pdf file will include statements prepared for each member who donated to more than one unit during the year, and will include donation information for all of the units to which they donated.

A clerk or the bishop would be able to read those statements. It is more likely that the clerk will read the name and place them into an envelope to give to the member, and the bishop will never see them.

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johnshaw
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby johnshaw » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:24 pm

To clarify even more. When you setup your online bill pay and don't want the info to transfer to your local ward you must CALL or email The Church Finance department to opt out.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby steele7 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:48 am

BaDD1981 wrote:please contact the Church Donations Department by calling 801-240-2554 or emailing donations@ldschurch.org


So is this the same contact information members should use if they would like to pay using stock? I had a member question me about that and how they do it. I was told they need to do it through HDQs but was wondering if this is the same contact that can help them.

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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby joshuaworkman » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:12 pm

In case anyone is curious, when I signed up a couple months ago to pay tithing via bill pay, the person at Church Donations told me that next year they will be rolling out a payment system through lds.org to simplify the process for people.


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