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Nonprofit Law/Board Member travel paid to vendor


QUESTION: If a travel expense for a Board Member is paid directly to the vendor (hotel, car rental company, etc.)is that payment still considered a benefit to the Board Member, and therefore reportable on a 1099 MISC (box 3 Other Income)to the Board Member?

ANSWER: If the travel expenses is a normal and necessary expense of the 501(c)(3) organization then there is no benefit to the Board member and there would be no 1099-Misc filing to report compensation to the Board member.

See which is the IRS' instructions for form 1099-Misc and the title is "Instructions for Form 1099-MISC Miscellaneous Income".

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be replied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.    

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The 1099 MISC instructions refer to Employee business expense reimbursements.  These Board members are not employees. Tis is a 501(c)3)nonprofit corproation. The corproation does not have established guidelines or an accountable plan for travel reimbursements. Any non-profit with an income over $25,000 must file Form 990 with the IRS. This form asks for details about the organization's compensation policy, along with information about any possible conflicts of interest. I have been told, by a CPA, that reimbursement of expenses qualifies as compensation for a board member, unless the board has a clear set of guidelines on such reimbursement. Is this true?

What you wrote in your fact pattern in first question did not have anything to do with reimbursements.  You wrote that the organization was paying the vendor directly.  "Reimburement" is when the organization gives the employee, volunteer, or independent contractor funds for expenses, either in advance or after the fact.

Harvey Mechanic
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Nonprofit Law

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Harvey Mechanic


I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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