This blog posts answers to questions given to us by ministers and others serving in Christian ministries advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ. It also discusses other financial topics that those in gospel ministries face. We trust the information provided can be helpful to you.
With the change of Administration in Washington, it is likely significant tax law changes will be made in the coming year. The following highlights some of the potential changes in tax law we believe may be made to increase federal tax revenues as well as some potential actions that can be made in anticipation. Potential targets for tax increases as we see them Increase in tax rates Reduction or elimination of favorable capital gains and qualified dividend tax rates Reduction or elimination of the qualified business income deduction Reduction or elimination of immediate expensing of capital purchases Reduction or elimination of business tax credits Reduction or elimination of retirement savings incentives Caps on deductible compensation of highly compensated employees Strategies in anticipation of these concerns (actions to consider now, while benefits from the current tax law are still in place) Sell assets eligible for favorable capital gains tax rates Acquire investment and busine
Question: Many churches adopted online giving and donor management in the early days of Covid-19. Some churches were forced to make a quick decision, while others have not revisited their donor management tool for some time. What options are available for churches seeking to establish or change their donor management software? Answer: There are many options available, each having its strengths and weaknesses. It is important that the specific needs of the church are considered when deciding which software to use. It is also important that the software is not only selected to meet those needs, but that it also falls reasonably within the church's budget. The church should not be paying for additional features it will not use. A couple of our team members at MinistryCPA serve at their local churches and have become familiar with the following products. Stephanie and Tim have provided a bri ef listing of those alternatives below, including their features and advantages. ServantKeeper
Question: What can I do to help protect my myself from identity theft and tax-related fraud? Answer: One way you can protect your identity when filing your tax return is by taking advantage of the IRS's Identity Protection PIN program. The IRS has recently begun expanding the use of Identity Protection (IP) PIN's for those who wish to make use of the program. An IP PIN is a six digit code issued by the IRS and known only to the individual and his or her tax preparer. The PIN is submitted on the individual's tax return to verify their identity. Throughout the last decade IP PIN's have been issued to protect individuals who have suffered from identity related tax fraud. Now, beginning in 2021, the IRS is allowing individuals to request an IP PIN regardless whether they have been a victim of identity theft. Because of the increasing risk of identity theft, we recommend you consider making use of this additional security measure when filing your taxes. Those who wish to ob
Question: A church is considering adopting a simple cafeteria plan in order to provide its pastor and other employees a choice between two benefits. What requirements must be met for the church to be eligible to establish a simple cafeteria plan? Answer: Section 125 Plans, often referred to as Cafeteria plans, allow employers to offer employees certain benefits on a pretax basis. In most cases, participants in a cafeteria plan must be permitted to choose from at least one taxable benefit (i.e. cash) and one qualified nontaxable benefit such as health plans, group term life insurance, and others described in IRS Publication 15-B . In order to be Section 125 compliant, the employer must retain written documentation of the plan and meet various requirements described in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 125. One common type of Section 125 plan is a Premium-Only Plan (POP). POP's allow employers to withhold and remit each employee's portion of health insurance premiums pre-tax
Highlights of Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021 applied to Churches and Christian Ministries February 2021 While the actual CAA is 5,593 pages long, the following summary highlights portions of this latest coronavirus related legislation specifically of interest to churches and Christian ministries. We have listed them in the order that we believe will most impact ministries. We certainly advise readers to consult us for details of these provisions and the myriad other components of the law. With the new Administration in Washington additional legislation is inevitable and may modify these benefits. PPP2 loans and forgiveness A second wave of Paycheck Protection Loans and forgiveness is available for eligible not-for-profit organizations. The primary eligibility criteria requires that at least one 2020 quarter’s gross receipts were at least 25% less than the same quarter in 2019. Similar to PPP1, the loan amount is 2.5 times the average total monthly payment o
Here at MinistryCPA, we recognize that many churches rely on volunteers and/or part-time treasurers and financial secretaries. With this in mind, we seek to come alongside ministries in providing the much-needed support to ensure that they are operating in a manner that is both compliant with governing authorities and taking advantage of opportunities for improved stewardship of ministry and employer financial resources. Please consider this brief checklist to determine if your ministry needs to look further into areas that could be classified as “We don’t know if we are compliant.” Please check all compliance requirements that are currently being met: File quarterly Form 941 or annual Form 944 with the IRS Issue Forms W-2 to all employees and File Forms W-2/ W-3 with SSA Ministerial Housing Allowance is only listed in box 14 of the Form W-2 – it is not included in box 1 Obtain Form W-9 from all individuals/businesses that are paid the cumulative total of $600 or more in the year f