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20 Finance Questions Churches Ask

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20 Finance Questions Churches Ask

Church leaders are faced with an overwhelming number of questions related to keeping the church safe, legal, and financially sound. Richard Hammar receives thousands of questions every year and shares his answers to 20 of the most widely asked and relevant tax and finance questions for church leaders.

Question 1: Do we need to report taxable income on the rental value of a parsonage to a noncredentialed pastor?

Question 2: Our church uses offering envelopes. How long should we keep them?

Question 3: Is a church required to apply to the IRS for recognition of tax exemption, or are we automatically exempt because they are a church?

Question 4: A part-time associate pastor asks the church to designate his entire salary as a housing allowance. Do they need to issue him a W-2 form at the end of the year—reporting "no income"?

Question 5: In which year is a check deductible if it is mailed in one year but postmarked in the following year?

Question 6: Who owns a church's accounting records, and what are best practices for handling records?

Question 7: What tax considerations impact a no-interest loan between a church and a pastor?

Question 8: Can a church reimburse their pastor's Holy Land travel expenses under an accountable reimbursement policy if they've asked him or her to take the trip?

Question 9: Are churches required to report embezzlement to the IRS?

Question 10: Is a church required to pay employees overtime for volunteer or other work unrelated to their main job?

Question 11: Do churches have liability for volunteers currently receiving workers' compensation from their employer?

Question 12: Is Internet access for personal research (or similar minor benefits) a taxable or nontaxable fringe benefit?

Question 13: Should a church allow members space for their personal business use?

Question 14: Should ministers opt out of Social Security?

Question 15: Can a minister or board members inspect the contribution records of members?

Question 16: What should a church do if a "self-employed" minister isn't filing taxes?

Question 17: If a church has lost or deleted its contribution records, what can be done?

Question 18: When are credit card donations receiptable—on the date the charge is made, on the date the donor pays the credit card statement, or some other date?

Question 19: Should unpaid credit card charges be listed as taxable income on a minister's W-2?

Question 20: When dismissing an employee, how much severance pay should a church give?

Pages: 42
Copyright: 2013
Author: Richard R. Hammar

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