Capital Baptist News - News Update - 12/20/16

SRBN will now be sending these electronic mailings in place of the monthly newsletter. You will receive all the updates and news you need in email format. You will be able to view them easily on your computer, phone,
or other electronic devices.
Each mailing will also appear on our Web site on the Newsletter page.
In each mailing, links will usually be provided in text or attached to pictures so you can go directly to the registration or other important details. Full articles will be included only when links to the articles are not available.
We know your time is valuable. We appreciate the ministries you do. We want to respect that, so we won't be sending news updates unless we have great things to share with you. Usually, these will come to you once or twice a week.
Please let us know if you have any questions, and let us know if you like the new format. :-)

This Thursday, 12/22, is the going away party for Debbie Everhart who is retiring after 19 years of ministry with the Association office.

(This is a long article filled with great information. We've included the full article here for your information).

From  David Rutledge, Church Finance 365

At this time of the year, everything is very busy around the church. Small groups or Life Groups are getting together to have a Christmas party. There are musicals at church, the adults are singing, the children are singing, groups are singing at the malls and other places throughout the community. There are special Christmas Eve services being planned and all of the other events that happen in the life of the church in December.
The Finance Committee always likes the month of December because the giving is usually up during this month. The finance committee, sometimes wishes that they had 12 Decembers during all of the year to work with, but they are very thankful for all of the people who have given throughout the year. 
Without the gifts of many different individuals, ministry around the church and the community would not happen. If you are in the position of leadership in your church, tell your congregation THANK YOU for the generous contributions for 2016. Highlight 2-3 special events or ministries that happen during the year and tell the congregation that without them, these would not have happened.  
As we draw close to December 31, 2016 and start the beginning of 2017 the financial people of the church have some work to do. Charitable contribution receipts need to be given out in January of 2017.  The end of December might not be the end of the church’s fiscal year, but it is the end of the year for IRS purposes in determining contributions for 2016. 

Handling and Acknowledging Charitable Contributions:
Understanding what contributions are, when to give out charitable contribution receipts and what information to put on the receipts is imperative for the church today.  
Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code provides that an income tax deduction can be taken for any charitable contribution that is made within the taxable year.  For the tax year 2016, that means that Saturday, December 31, 2016 is the last day of the year to give a contribution for 2016, not Sunday January 1, 2017. 

There are several gift options.  When are they deductible?
 A charitable contribution can be deducted by an individual for income tax purposes only in the year in which it is paid.
GIFTS BY CASH: A cash gift is deductible when it is given.
GIFTS BY CHECK: A gift by check is effective when the check is unconditionally delivered or mailed, if the check subsequently clears the donor's bank.
Example 1: Donor mails a check with a postmark of December 31, 2016. The donee organization operates on a calendar year. It does not receive the check until January 7, 2017. The donee organization deposits the check in its bank on January 7 and it clears the donor's bank on January 10. The gift for the donor is in 2016.
Example 2: Donor delivers the check to the donee organization on December 31, 2016. The donor asks that the check be held for three months. Following the donor's request, the donee organization deposits the check on March 31, 2017. The gift is deductible for the donor in 2017.
Example 3: Donor dates the check December 31, 2016 but hand delivers the check on Sunday, January 1, 2017. It is a 2017 contribution NOT a 2016 contribution
If the contribution results in insufficient funds, the delivery date will not be considered to be date of mailing.
GIFTS BY CREDIT CARD: A contribution charged to a bank credit card is deductible by the donor in the year the charge is made, though the donor does not pay the credit card charge until the next year.
GIFTS OF SECURITIES: A gift of stock is effective upon the unconditional delivery of a properly endorsed stock certificate to the donee or the donee's agent. If the certificate is mailed and received by the charitable organization or its agent through regular postal service, the gift is effective on the date of mailing. If it is a wire transfer, the day the stock was transferred out of the donor’s account as shown on the donor’s statement is the day the gift is effective.
GIFTS OF PROPERTY: A gift of real estate is generally completed for tax purposes at the time possession of the property and the benefits and burdens of ownership are transferred. A properly executed deed to the property must be delivered by the donor to the donee to effect the charitable deduction.
GIFTS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY are deductible in the year the item is delivered to the nonprofit organization.
Example: If delivered on December 31, 2016, the gift is deductible on the 2016 tax return. If delivered January 1, 2017 it is deductible on the 2017 tax return.  

SERVICES: No deduction is allowed for the contribution of services to a church.
Example: A carpenter donates two months of labor on the construction of a new facility built by the church. The carpenter is not eligible for a charitable deduction for the donation of his time. He is entitled to a charitable deduction only for out-of-pocket expenses for any supplies he donated to the project. His mileage driving to and from the project is deductible at the charitable mileage deduction rate. The taxpayers must keep their own records and put the expenses on Schedule “A” of their return.
Example: The Jones family uses the fellowship hall at the church for an anniversary party. The normal rental fee is $150. The Jones family gives a check to the church for $150 marked and they put in the memo line “Contribution.” No receipt should be given by the church. The Jones family received a benefit approximate to the amount of their payment.
Example: A church operates a Christian school. The parent of a student at the school writes a check payable to the church for his child’s tuition. No receipt should be given because a payment of tuition does not qualify as a charitable contribution.
USE OF PROPERTY: The gift to a nonprofit of the right to use property does not yield a tax deduction to the donor.
Example: A donor provides the youth group of the church with the rent-free use of a cabin for a week. There is no charitable deduction available to the donor for the value of that use. If the donor paid the taxes, insurance, and utilities for this week, these items would be deductible as a charitable contribution based on their costs.
INDIVIDUALS: Gifts made to individuals ordinarily do not qualify as charitable contributions.
Example: Contributions made directly to poor or needy individuals do not qualify for a charitable deduction. Gifts made personally to ministers are not charitable contributions.

There have been cases in which donors have designated "love gifts" to be given to needy friends or family members, "channeling" the gifts through the church in order to deduct the amounts as a charitable contribution. In some cases this practice is equivalent to illegal money-laundering, and should not be done.
Example: "Pastor, my brother needs to have surgery and cannot afford to pay for it. I cannot afford to help him outright so I would like to donate some money to the church and have the church give it to him as a benevolence gift so I can deduct the amount as a charitable contribution."
This is money-laundering and is illegal. A gift given to the church must be that – a gift!
STRINGS ATTACHED: A gift must generally be complete and irrevocable to qualify for a charitable deduction. There is usually no gift if the donor leaves "strings attached" that can be pulled later to bring the gift back to the donor or remove it from the control of the donee.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering 2016
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The Local Church Must Care for Missionaries through Prayer
Eleanor Witcher
Consistent, specific prayer is hard work. But it's hard work that blesses missionaries, the nations, those who pray, and invokes the Lord himself for his power to complete his redemptive purposes.

Arguably, the responsibility of praying for missionaries begins long before they go away to live in a distant land. It starts before any formal training is completed, and even before travel plans are announced to a congregation. Churches with a passion to reach the nations for Jesus Christ intercede for those who have never heard by asking "the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest" (Matt. 9:38 NKJV).

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