Are Tithes and Offerings to Church Deductible?

Discussion in 'US Taxes' started by NoName, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. NoName

    NoName Guest

    My wife and I throw some cash into the offering plate on the Sundays we
    attend church. Is this a deductible charitable contribution? Thanks.
    NoName, Apr 15, 2005
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  2. NoName

    Paul Guest

    In general, yes, but you may be called upon to prove it in an audit. You
    would do that with some kind of records, etc.

    Also hope that someone from the church can say "yeah, I know them. They sit
    right over there on Sunday" type of thing. And they use terminology like
    "good Christian people" when describing you.
    Paul, Apr 15, 2005
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  3. NoName

    Lord Salt Guest

    Yes, on Schedule A under charitable contributions. Take the higher of
    Schedule A itemized deductions or the standard deduction.
    Lord Salt, Apr 15, 2005
  4. NoName

    Phil Marti Guest

    Checks would be better, but aren't absolutely necessary. Do make sure you
    keep a contemporaneous record of your cash contributions. I do it in my
    Phil Marti, Apr 15, 2005
  5. NoName


    Apr 25, 2011
    Likes Received:
    You might able to talk to your church and get them to adopt offering envelopes that have the little rip-off tabs where you record the information as your own little "receipt". Then retain all of those for tax records.
    Taxosaurus, Apr 25, 2011
  6. NoName


    May 19, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Yes, your church donations are certainly deductible. If your total cash donations to the church are not more than a few hundred dollars for the entire year, I wouldn't get too hung up on keeping records. Thanks
    jeff1236, May 19, 2011
  7. NoName


    Aug 26, 2011
    Likes Received:
    No you cannot. From IRS Publication 526

    Cash Contributions

    Cash contributions include those paid by cash, check, electronic funds transfer, debit card, credit card, or payroll deduction.

    You cannot deduct a cash contribution, regardless of the amount, unless you keep one of the following.

    A bank record that shows the name of the qualified organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount of the contribution. Bank records may include:

    A canceled check,

    A bank or credit union statement, or

    A credit card statement.

    A receipt (or a letter or other written communication) from the qualified organization showing the name of the organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount of the contribution.

    The payroll deduction records described next.

    In the case of a cash contribution made for the relief of victims of the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti, a telephone bill qualifies as a receipt in (2) above if it shows the name of the organization and the date and amount of the contribution. However, if you made that contribution after January 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010, and deducted it on your 2009 return, you cannot deduct it on your 2010 return.

    Kenneth Hoffman, EA
    Tax Counsel to Business, Professionals and Select Individuals
    KRHoffmanCo, Aug 26, 2011
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