Tax rules for gifts of personal property

Churches and their donors need to understand how to substantiate gifts — from cars to clothing.

This article is the second of a two-part series on substantiating noncash gifts. Part one on noncash real property appeared in the August issue. What follows are substantiation considerations for “personal property” — such as clothing, cars, boats, household items, and stock.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | For Church Finance Today

The tax rules for gifts of noncash donations can be more complex than cash contributions, where bank records and receipts can play a key role. The gifts in the category of noncash donations come in many more forms, as well.

Household goods, clothing, and furniture are some of the more well-known items people think of as noncash property donations. However, anything of value that can possibly be donated falls under this umbrella for the purposes of gift substantiation, said Ted Batson, CPA and tax attorney with the accounting firm CapinCrouse.

“Stamps, antiques, jewelry, fur coats, baseball cards — really, anything of worth or items that together will comprise a valuable collection — can be passed on in this way,” Batson said.

Automobiles also are frequently donated to churches—and along with boats and airplanes—vehicle donations require Form 1098-C to be completed by the taxpayer upon filing, said Frank Sommerville, CPA, attorney, and editorial advisor for Church Finance Today.

Read the full article.

This article appears on the September 2018 cover of Church Finance Today, a publication of Christianity Today.

Related: When clothing and household items are donated: Churches may want to tell taxpayers that generosity is its own reward