Ah, winter is finally passing and making way for spring. If your family is like mine, every year around this time we would all join in a good “spring cleaning”. You know, that thorough whole house cleaning, purging, and decluttering that is important to do, but many lack the motivation. Experts tell us this cleaning can provide a sense of relief or accomplishment, which improves our attitudes as well. Rather than offering you cleaning tips or do-it-yourself projects, Impact Stewardship wants you to consider how your church can benefit from your spring cleaning.
What Kind of Assets Can I Give?
Most of us have clutter scattered across our home or collecting dust in our garages or attics. Some of us have such an abundance of stuff that it requires a storage unit. Author Susan Wright said, “Just because something belongs to you doesn’t mean you should keep it for the rest of your life. Things are meant to be transitory.” For the Christian, it is important to remind ourselves of Matthew 6:19-20
19: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Consider personal property such as automobiles, jewelry, antiques, collectibles, and other items that you could donate to your church. There may be no capital gains tax benefit to these gifts, but the tax code is very generous toward this form of giving. If you sell these items first then give the cash to your church you may be subject to capital gains taxes, thereby reducing the after tax proceeds from the sale. Giving the asset to the church, then letting the church sell it eliminates potential capital gains taxes and can increase the after tax proceeds.* The financial and spiritual benefits can truly be tremendous to both you and the church.
How Does the Tax Benefit Work?
1. Visit https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc506 for the most up to date tax information on non-cash donations.
2. Consult with a tax and/or legal professional regarding decisions/options with this type of giving.
3. Contact the financial office of your church and let them know about the gift you are considering giving to the church prior to making the donation in person.
Please keep in mind your church may not accept the items you bring to them. If this occurs, try not to take it personal. Explore and contact local Christian charities, in your area, that may welcome your donations.
For Church Leaders
If you are a church leader and want to know how to develop a creative giving strategy within your church, please contact us. We’ll be happy to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
*Disclaimer: No decisions regarding this type of giving should be made without first consulting with your tax or legal professional, as tax laws are constantly changing.