How Much Do Circuit Overseers Make Under the Table, and is it Taxable?

by Tazemanian-devil 37 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Tazemanian-devil

    I was thinking about green handshakes, and I knew my wife and I personally would try to slide at least $100 each C.O visit to the C.O. If we were low on cash, we'd never hand him less than $20. How many of such handshakes does he receive in a weeks time? A dozen or more, of probably at least $20. And you know the wealthy brothers looking for privileges would give a lot more.

    And does he report such income on his taxes? I wonder if the IRS could look into this section of the group, and slap them with some kind of fine?

    Remember how they took down Al Capone.

  • wannaexit

    A number of years ago, I read on this forum that in some of the more affluent areas CO could rake in close to $100.000. Not sure about the number.

    All I can say that I know of at least 10 publishers that give money every CO visit. Most give on average $50.00.

  • respectful_observer

    Who pays the gift tax?
    The donor is generally responsible for paying the gift tax. Under special arrangements the doneemay agree to pay the tax instead. Please visit with your tax professional if you are considering this type of arrangement.

    What is considered a gift?
    Any transfer to an individual, either directly or indirectly, where full consideration (measured in money or money's worth) is not received in return.

    How many annual exclusions are available?
    The annual exclusion applies to gifts to each donee. In other words, if you give each of your children $11,000 in 2002-2005, $12,000 in 2006-2008, $13,000 in 2009-2012 and $14,000 on or after January 1, 2013, the annual exclusion applies to each gift. The annual exclusion for 2014 and 2015 is $14,000.

    I'm not an accountant, but my understanding is that when cash gifts are given, the donor is responsible for paying the gift tax, not the recipient. The annual exclusion for tax purposes this year is $14,000 (per recipient).

    I'd be surprised if very many J-dubs are donating more than that to any single CO in one year.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    It must vary by quite a wide margin, depending on the circuit. The circuit in which I lived in during the early 1990s was in (definitely!) a low socio-economic area. This, combined with the economic recession of those years ensured that the CO's pickings were very small indeed. He would not have received too many $100 donations - in fact, if somebody had slipped him a $100 note, he would have just about fallen dead with shock!


  • TTATTelder

    I think it is a case by case thing. I do know that some get a lot. Expensive trips, clothes, money. I know one that is now in a sister's will. He will be a millionaire when she dies.

    I think some are better at working the system than others. Heck Ray Franz was a GB member and left with barely a pot to pee in.


  • Introvert 2
    Introvert 2
    Good thread, heard about this stuff before. I would donate an average amount regularly every month for hall upkeep / rent whatever and then a smaller portion for the world wide work and the societies kingdom hall fund. That and an average donation at each assembly. That's it and I was / am comfortable with that set-up as it would amply cover my portion of books / mag / Bibles. I'm thrifty and don't need much to be happy so use very little in the way of printed materials. I don't do any additional donations to CO's / DO's or whatever but did contribute to hall renovations / builds in my area. I prefer helping out a brother or family in need if there is one than giving money to someone in position.
  • RubaDub

    In the United States, there is no limit on the amount that a person receives as a "gift" as long as no goods or services were received (in that case it would be considered some sort of income).

    A person can give another person up to $15,000 (in 2015) tax free. If that amount exceeds $15,000, any taxes that result would be paid by the Donor as part of his/her tax return, not the Recipient.

    In theory, a CO could receive an unlimited amount of money from hundreds of brothers and not be required to pay any income taxes as long as the green handshakes are considered a gift.

    Rub a Dub

  • stuckinarut2

    I was told by a circuit overseer's wife many years back, that they were supposed to tell the branch HOW much they were given each month.

    Then their monthly allowance was altered to fit in with the amount donated! (so they would still only get the same actual cash each month....)

    So she said that all the ones in travelling work she knew would either ask for gifted items INSTEAD of cash so they didn't have to declare it to Bethel.

  • DesirousOfChange

    Many, many years ago I realized that the COs & COWs all had nicer & newer things (in fact everything) than we did. Newest gadgets, computers, nicest label of clothing, etc etc. They had lots of things that we did without (since we were "keeping out eye simple").

    That was the last time any of them got "green" from me.


  • The Searcher
    The Searcher

    Doesn't the "Vow of Poverty" document they signed actually state that any money they "earn" in service has to be donated to the Org?

    After all, "mother" takes care of all Special Full Time Servants, doesn't she?

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