A recent proposal by the IRS offers serious cause for concern, and has set off alarm bells for ministries across America.
If you've not heard what the IRS is proposing, let me tell you about it—as I believe stopping this from happening is vitally important to the future well being of pastors and churches, as well as to the privacy of every individual donor to any such organization.
The IRS has proposed a new rule called the "Substantiation Requirement for Certain Contributions," which creates a new system by which 501(c)(3) nonprofits may choose, voluntarily for now, to collect and send to the IRS Social Security numbers and other personal information from donors who give gifts more than $250. This would be in lieu of sending written acknowledgments to the donors themselves as proof of their gifts.
You read that right. If this new IRS rule is passed, instead of sending a donor a "written receipt," charities (including churches and ministries) would collect Social Security numbers, along with other personal data, from donors contributing $250 or more. This information would be passed along to the IRS for tax reporting purposes.
I have numerous concerns in response to this proposal. Here are only a few:
- If adopted, churches and ministries will be hurt by this new rule, because people will be reluctant to make a donation if it means they have to share their private, Social Security number.
- To protect donors, churches and ministries would be required to invest precious resources into new computer equipment and data security to prevent hackers from gaining access to their donors' Social Security numbers and other personal data.
- It's common sense that everyone should be cautious about giving out his or her Social Security number. Even the IRS advises that Social Security numbers should not be shared unless "absolutely necessary." This new proposal is certainly not absolutely necessary, as the current process for issuing donor receipts isn't broken, and it doesn't need fixing.
- Don't be fooled by this new rule being "optional" for charities (including churches and ministries). All it takes to make it required is changing the word "voluntary" to "mandatory." The IRS is already too intrusive into our Constitutional right to the "free exercise" or our faith.
Help stop this new proposal from becoming IRS law by completing these four steps by Wednesday, Dec. 16:
4. Write your own Senator and Congressman and ask them to put out a Press Release TODAY decrying this as IRS overreach.
Please take action by Wednesday, Dec. 16 to ensure we stop this proposal in its tracks!
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. Freedom MUST be defended.
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