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Friday, April 19, 2013

Donor Controlled Charitable Donations



Recently I have been researching, using the Internet, the issue of charitable contributions received by a church for a church-approved designated purpose, but sub-earmarked by the donor for a named individual’s costs of participation (in this case a medical mission trip abroad). Before retirement in 2007, I had access to one or more of the major tax services for such research. Most of the cites I’ve discovered are individual organization’s (often churches) websites citing their policy. Different groups reach different conclusions.

I did discover the Supreme Court case relative to Mormon Church mission endeavors being funded by the parents of the participants. In that case the funds were being spent directly, though the mission was under the auspices of the church.

Of the organizations concluding the such a specific designation fails as to the issue of ‘control’ and refers to that issue as the IRS position, I didn’t discover IRS wording to that effect in Publication 526.

I seem to recall, from researching the issue in years’ past, that there were a plethora of cases on point.

Does anybody have access to litigated documentation of the issue, or to Publications other than 526 that are on point?

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