September 5, 2013
Q&A: Donated Goods and Charitable Statements
Why the receipt value of a donated good can't go on a donor's contribution statement.
Q: I occasionally have a church member who donates something the church needs. The member then gives me a receipt for the item purchased and asks me to put it on their giving statement. Is this allowed?
A: No, it cannot go on the member's cash contribution receipt because the member did not contribute cash. The member is allowed a noncash deduction for the fair market value of the item.
Instead of this approach, I suggest that the church reimburse the member in cash for the item. If the member chooses to endorse the check back to the church, then the member has made a cash contribution.
For more help with charitable contributions, including donated goods, check out chapter 8 of Richard Hammar's 2013 Church & Clergy Tax Guide.