I immediately called the explanation (politely) "horse dung". Then within minutes an anonymous attorney familiar with tax consequences of gifts given between employees of 501(c)3 religious organizations and shareholders, gave some clarification to 47's explanation.
Here is the salient portion of the attorney's explanation:
The gift was given from one "shareholder" of an organization to another "shareholder" of the organization. This, in and of itself, is absolutely harmless. Where it gets sticky is the fact that it was a "shareholder" giving a gift to an employee of the organization. Had Dr. Brunson announced that there was a member of the church, or "shareholder" in the organization, that had given him a substantially sized gift, the responsibilities that go along with that gift, would have then fallen on the whole organization. According to the churches 501(c)3, the announcing of such gift would be viewed as, or considered by law, as an employee associating the organization with the gift, therefore incurring tax consequences for the organization by the terms of the 501(c)3's Excess Benefit Transactions. Basically, had the deal been announced publicly, the government would have seen an employee who received a gift from a "shareholder" passing his tax responsibilities to the organization, having them pay his taxes.
Basically, had the deal been announced publicly, the government would have seen an employee who received a gift from a "shareholder" passing his tax responsibilities to the organization, having them pay his taxes.
Interesting explanation. I don't believe it. If I understand 47, Mac Brunson WOULD HAVE told us, perhaps he WANTED TO tell us about this incredible blessing of God...but doggone it those pesky IRS rules actually prevented him from doing so because tax consequences would have been incurred. It was in our best interest NOT to know!
As 47 said, answering these questions only leads to more questions. Here they are:
1. 47 I will assume you are a staff or family member that has close access to Mac Brunson. So, can you tell us the decision to not announce the gift was a conscious decision made at the time the gift was accepted? Did Mac WANT TO tell us, but shoot he just couldn't for our own good?
2. Is it really possible that the tax consequences to the church of this gift could be swayed by just a man explaining the nature of a gift, of expressing thanks, or just sharing the fact that a gift was given? Is that possible? Don't the facts surrounding the details of the gift: the relationship between the giver and receiver, the size of the gift, the timing of it in relation to his employment date, etc...don't the facts of the gift trump whether a man opens his mouth to announce a gift?
3. Approximately 18 months after the gift was given, in the middle of Mac's sermon he aired a professionally produced commercial for a business owned by the sons of the giver of the $300k land gift. Does this have any tax consequences to the IRS as how the gift is viewed?
And finally: regardless of the answers to these questions and whether "47" and the "anon attorney" are right or not...doesn't this all just stink? Couldn't the gift have been refused, or directed to the church so the church could best decide how the gift is used?