Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Faith Matters’

Declaring Intangible Religious Benefits

May 22, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m filing stacks of paper that have surrounded my desk and noticed an odd disclaimer on our church’s quarterly giving statement. It said, 

[This] Church provided no goods or services in return for these contributions except intangible religious benefits.

So, just what is an intangible religious benefit? This phrase was on the last giving statement as well. I didn’t notice it at the time – but that’s not the first time I’ve missed something blatantly in front of my eyes. That said, this phrase nor anything similar was on any giving statements from 2010 or 2011. I’m not aware of any attorneys who attend this church. My mind wonders – who got to the senior pastor and advised him to put such a disclaimer on a giving statement? Is there now a legal requirement for churches to provide such a disclaimer? Are we living in such a screwed-up politically correct separation of church & state et al legalistic society that a church’s giving statement to its congregants must state the obvious? Or, am I missing something? I’m able to apply my church offering towards all charitable giving for tax purposes. Maybe there’s some sort of VAT (value added tax) coming that will offset the deduction?