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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Church giving pastor a van can it be considered income


My church was given a van. The church wants to give the van to the pastor.  Our pastor does not receive a salary from church.  The church can't afford to insure the vehicle anymore so that is why they want to donate it to the pastor.  What is legal to do

ANSWER: Annette,

Thanks for your question.

The van would be taxable income to the pastor and a W-2 should be issued to him for the fair market value of the van.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

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

QUESTION: If the church gives it to anyone but the pastor does that person who receives it have to pay income tax?

If the church gives it to an employee or the family member of an employee,it is taxable income.  I realize you may not consider the pastor an employee, but under IRS rules he is performing services for the church, so the van would be taxable compensation.

If it is given to a non-employee, it would be a gift and not taxable.

John Stancil, CPA  

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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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The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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