By Sister Laura Goedken
Many of us drive through the countryside and admire the field of corn and beans. We watch them change color and then farmers work hard to harvest and store or sell the grain.
When handled properly, grain donations can create a tax savings for the donor. However, many times the donor delivers the grain to the elevator and directs that a check be issued to the parish, school or diocese. This would be considered a “cash” donation. It does not constitute a grain donation because the ownership of the grain was never transferred to the charity.
The tax consequences to the donor can be much more favorable if the farmer donates the grain to the parish, school or diocese. Depending on the individual situation, the donor can possibly avoid income tax and self employment tax on the value of the donated grain.
For a proper grain donation, the farmer must deliver the grain to the elevator and transfer ownership title of the commodity to the parish, school or diocese. The parish, school or diocese must make the final decision to sell the grain.
For more information, feel free to contact Sister Laura Goedken, Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Davenport, at Goedken@davenportdiocese.org or call (563) 324-1911.