Increase Your Tax Deductions, Don’t Give Cash at Church

January 15, 2007

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 gives the IRS the authority to disallow deductions of undocumented cash gifts to charities, including church offerings. If you put cash into the collection plate you can no longer write it off on your taxes.

Document Your Donations
Instead of putting dollars or coins into the offering plate, write a check instead. What’s the difference? The new law requires donations to be documented as this article describes:

“Individuals must show a receipt from the charity, a canceled check, or credit card statement to prove their donation. No tax deduction will be allowed if the taxpayer cannot provide any supporting documentation.”

Be a Good Steward
Many religions emphasis the importance of being a good steward with your money. If you can reduce your tax burden by documenting and writing off your donations, you’ll have more money left over to live your life and to donate to your church!


Will this article help you save or earn more money? Get others like it simply by entering your email address below. Your email is used only for delivering daily money tips and you can opt out of delivery at any time. Click here to see all your free subscription options.


Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

All posts by


3 Responses to Increase Your Tax Deductions, Don’t Give Cash at Church

  • moneysmartz

    cleverdude, thanks for the heads up. I didn’t know that some churches took attendance. I hope mine doesn’t track whether I get there on time because I’d have a lot of black marks 🙂

  • Clever Dude

    Most active churchgoers, at least in the Catholic church, give money in envelopes they receive from the church. These envelopes are used by the church to track attendance (there’s religious and financial reasons behind it), but also to issue a receipt at year-end to the giver.

    If you don’t use envelopes, then yes, write a check.


  • Money Smart Life » Reader Questions - Taxes, 401k, and Saving Money