Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Benevolence question


We have a single parent in our congregation who is in great debt for thousands of dollars and as a result, is in a tight, financial situation since she has to pay toward this debt each month. Is our religious, non-profit congregation able to use benevolence funds to pay off half of this needy person's debt and the funds given be considered non-taxable, benevolence funds to her? Or must these funds given be considered taxable income to her for some reason and us have to give her a W2 or 1099? If the funds given must be considered taxable income, why is that?


Thanks for your question.

The funds are not taxable income to the recipient. I would add tha if funds are given to the church designated for that individual and not to the general budget or the benevolence fund, the contributions are not deductible by the donor.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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