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Re: Tax ID numbers....Does each Ward have one?

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:02 am
by gksargent
Having just went through the process of obtaining an IRS Tax ID number, it is done through the stake with the wards sharing the same number. This could be a little confusing on how to handle say a Google Docs nonprofit account specific for each ward.

Re: Tax ID numbers....Does each Ward have one?

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:28 pm
by dougdillon
My work has a matching gift campaign that we can utilize where they match our funds for donations i.e. Fast offerings, missions, or other things of that nature. I see the Church EIN number but that is a general number. How would the Church know to apply it to my sons mission fund? On my works website I can see other EIN numbers for wards as well as stakes and the general number pointed out. I would think for the money to be applied to my sons mission account I would need the ward EIN and then on my work donation request I just put my sons name and our ward clerk would get the my funds directly from my paycheck and my works matching funds. Our ward clerk would then apply it to his account but if sent to the general number how would the church know who to apply it to? It would show up from me when the church got it but wouldn't include further guidance. Any help would be great! Our open enrollment closes tomorrow so I am kind of in a hurry to file this :) Thanks

Re: Tax ID numbers....Does each Ward have one?

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:18 am
by davesudweeks
dougdillon wrote:My work has a matching gift campaign that we can utilize where they match our funds for donations i.e. Fast offerings, missions, or other things of that nature. I see the Church EIN number but that is a general number. How would the Church know to apply it to my sons mission fund? On my works website I can see other EIN numbers for wards as well as stakes and the general number pointed out. I would think for the money to be applied to my sons mission account I would need the ward EIN and then on my work donation request I just put my sons name and our ward clerk would get the my funds directly from my paycheck and my works matching funds. Our ward clerk would then apply it to his account but if sent to the general number how would the church know who to apply it to? It would show up from me when the church got it but wouldn't include further guidance. Any help would be great! Our open enrollment closes tomorrow so I am kind of in a hurry to file this :) Thanks


If I understand correctly (I am not a tax expert): You cannot designate where the donation goes as that could make the donation taxable. There was a US legal case some years ago (I think in Arizona?) where a family deducted the money they sent to their missionary as a tax deduction and the IRS ruled against them. However, you should speak with your tax advisor on this, rather than take advice from this user-to-user help forum.

Re: Tax ID numbers....Does each Ward have one?

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:44 pm
by russellhltn
davesudweeks wrote:If I understand correctly (I am not a tax expert): You cannot designate where the donation goes as that could make the donation taxable. There was a US legal case some years ago (I think in Arizona?) where a family deducted the money they sent to their missionary as a tax deduction and the IRS ruled against them.

I'm quite certain that money donated to the church's missionary fund IS tax deductible, even if "credited" to a specific missionary. As I understand it, it's because of the church's equalizing of the contributions (regardless of the actual cost), the money is not sent to or otherwise controlled by the missionary, and that the missionary would not be sent back if payment wasn't made. Or something like that. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm quite certain that any missionary donations are shown on the annual tax statements given to members regardless of if they are "credited" to a specific missionary who happens to be a son or daughter. Which I'd think would be a pretty strong indicator.

I suspect what the "Arizona" couple was doing was deducting money sent directly to their son. I could see where the IRS would have a problem with that. In fact, if my web search is correct, the equalized payment system may have been a response to that as it appears to have started the same year a particular case (that sounds like the one you're describing) was lost.


davesudweeks wrote:However, you should speak with your tax advisor on this, rather than take advice from this user-to-user help forum.

Absolutely. However, I don't think that's what dougdillon was asking about. I think he's looking for a donation method similar to bill pay so his workplace matching donations are credited to a specific missionary. I'm not sure as that's possible via the bill pay system. My only suggestion there is to send an email to Donations@ldschurch.org and see what they can suggest.

Re: Tax ID numbers....Does each Ward have one?

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:01 pm
by lajackson
russellhltn wrote:My only suggestion there is to send an email to Donations@ldschurch.org and see what they can suggest.

The new address is onlinedonationsupport@ldschurch.org

Re: Tax ID numbers....Does each Ward have one?

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:01 pm
by russellhltn
I have no evidence, but I suspect both are active with different areas of specialization.

Re: Tax ID numbers....Does each Ward have one?

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:22 pm
by davesudweeks
russellhltn wrote:I'm quite certain that money donated to the church's missionary fund IS tax deductible, even if "credited" to a specific missionary. As I understand it, it's because of the church's equalizing of the contributions (regardless of the actual cost), the money is not sent to or otherwise controlled by the missionary, and that the missionary would not be sent back if payment wasn't made. Or something like that. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm quite certain that any missionary donations are shown on the annual tax statements given to members regardless of if they are "credited" to a specific missionary who happens to be a son or daughter. Which I'd think would be a pretty strong indicator.

I suspect what the "Arizona" couple was doing was deducting money sent directly to their son. I could see where the IRS would have a problem with that. In fact, if my web search is correct, the equalized payment system may have been a response to that as it appears to have started the same year a particular case (that sounds like the one you're describing) was lost.


My response was poorly worded, for which I apologize. My point was that I don't think a member can establish a matching funds program and "force" the matching funds to be deposited into their child's mission account at the ward level. Donations to the ward mission fund are tax deductible. However, the member does not control how the donation is used which is one of the reasons it is tax deductible (as I understand). If they can set up a matching funds program that would mail a check to the local ward with the missionary listed, the ward could then deposit that check into the missionary's account (we did this for 2 years for a missionary - we received a check with instructions to deposit it into a specific missionary's mission fund (the check was from a family member who did not want it to be known who was funding the mission so the donation was from "anonymous" each time per their request. Most matching funds are direct deposits to the church so I would suspect they would go into the general missionary fund.

Re: Tax ID numbers....Does each Ward have one?

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:28 pm
by dougdillon
You can specify which missionary it goes to that's how the church tracks that your missionary has been funded. I've reached out to the church 'In-Kind' people to get the answer but wanted to know if anyone in this forum had this experience already and could help. I do appreciate all those responses!

Re: Tax ID numbers....Does each Ward have one?

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:39 pm
by russellhltn
davesudweeks wrote:My response was poorly worded, for which I apologize. My point was that I don't think a member can establish a matching funds program and "force" the matching funds to be deposited into their child's mission account at the ward level.

I have my doubts as well. But the definitive answer would have to come from CHQ, perhaps from one of the two emails mentioned up-thread.

Re: Tax ID numbers....Does each Ward have one?

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:05 pm
by lajackson
dougdillon wrote:I've reached out to the church 'In-Kind' people to get the answer but wanted to know if anyone in this forum had this experience already and could help. I do appreciate all those responses!

I have not rushed to reply since you said your open enrollment has ended.

For future reference in a situation such as yours, I would recommend working through LDS Philanthropies. Your donation there can be directed to any of the Church contribution accounts, tithing, fast offering, etc. In the past, you could not contribute to a ward missionary fund, but it appears from their page that you are now able to do so.

Even though that page refers to IRA qualified charitable distributions, the same process works for other donations on your behalf from various institutions, as well. There is a phone number to call where you will be able to get answers to specific questions you may have. The EIN to be used is also on that page.