Annual Giving Statements 

Annual Giving Statements 

Given the timing of this month’s newsletter, I thought it might be worthwhile to provide a few points related to charitable contributions and reporting.  Some might be a review, but I hope most find the information helpful.

Charitable Gift Timing

  • Checks- The date the check is mailed is deemed the date of delivery.  There are two exceptions: checks that bounce, and postdated checks.
  • Credit Cards- The contribution is deductible on the date the charge is reflected by the credit card issuer even though the credit card bill might not be paid until next year. 
  • Electronic Funds Transfers- The contribution is deductible at the time the payment is made by the financial institution.

Acknowledging and Reporting Charitable Gifts

  • Contributors to a ministry seeking a tax deduction must produce if asked, a written receipt from the organization for gifts of currency and other single contributions valued at $250 or more.  
  • Information to be included in the acknowledgment: giver’s name, amount of cash contributed, a statement explaining whether the ministry provided any goods or services to the giver in exchange for the contribution and date of donation.  The following items are recommended but not required: the date acknowledgment was issued, the signature of the issuer, and a message thanking the donor for their contribution. 
  • Contributors must obtain their contribution receipts no later than the due date of their federal return or the date they file their return whichever is earlier.  It is best practice to issue acknowledgement statements no later than January 31, and earlier if possible.  
  • There is no specific form required to report charitable gifts.  The acknowledgment may be in hard copy or electronic form.  The form can also be available for download from the church website.  

Leverage Online Giving Apps

  • Most online giving apps (Tithely, Breeze, Planning Center for example) can manually add contributions made by cash and check.  Tracking all contributions in the app will make it extremely efficient to produce giving statements at the end of the year.  In most cases, it is only a few “clicks” to get these printed.  If you maintain email addresses for your contributors the apps also make it very easy to send giving statements via email. 

If you have any questions or would like assistance with any of the information in this post, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at the District Office.

Scott Thorson