What are common guidelines when dealing with church benevolence funds? Let’s start by defining what church benevolence is.
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What is a church benevolence fund?
Benevolence is defined quite simply as an act of kindness or generosity. Church benevolence programs provide folks in need with the basic necessities of life. The most common benevolence requests from church members and non-church members include:
- Medical Expenses
What about giving cash?
A common church benevolence fund guideline is that the fund can be used to give cash to a needy person, but as with all other benevolent gifts, the purpose of the cash must be to help provide for the basic necessities of life. As an example, a church could provide a cash gift to a family who recently suffered the loss of their house due to a tornado or other natural disaster. The family could then utilize the funds for groceries, clothing, and other necessities.
In other cases where larger sums of benevolent payments are being made in the form of rent or utility bills, many churches wonder if they should be recording the payments they’re making to those individuals on a 1099.
The answer is no. Benevolence payments made to individuals are not taxable income. Not only do they NOT need to track it, they also do not need to ask them for a W-9—which means churches don’t have to report it on a 1099.
Does your church have a benevolence fund?
Did you know you can track benevolence funds in the Aplos Software Suite? That’s right, Aplos can help you set it up, track its activity, and even help you transfer various amounts in and out of it!
Be sure to give Aplos a try today, if you haven’t already. Our bookkeeping services team is waiting to help you with any issue you may have, including navigating church benevolence funds and their guidelines.
If you’d like to read more on the topic of church benevolence, check out this article from our friends at Foundation Group.
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We will discuss how to be good stewards of your church’s resources and explore some best practices for overseeing your finances.
This webinar will teach you how to:
- Create and implement a stewardship plan
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