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Recently, a big screen TV was donated to our church. The pastor told his son he could have it. Are there rules prohibiting this?

A church is generally required to use contributions for the purpose for which they were given or solicited. It seems likely that a big screen TV was probably given to the church to use or to sell and use the proceeds for the church.

The transfer of the TV to the pastor’s son is an excess benefit transaction unless the transfer is treated as compensation to the son.

Dan Busby is a certified public accountant, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), and the author of the Zondervan Clergy Tax & Financial Guide.