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.
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Protect Your Identity- Use an Identity Protection PIN
What can I do to help protect my myself from identity theft and tax-related fraud?
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 obtain an IP PIN may do so on the IRS website using the "Get an IP PIN" tool. The application process includes various identity verification steps. Once issued the PIN is only valid for one calendar year, and individuals must receive a new IP PIN each year.
Question: A church rented space from another church last year. Should it request a completed Form W-9 and issue Form 1099-MISC? Answer: Payments from one 501(c)(3) organization to another 501(c)(3) organization are not subject to Form 1099-MISC reporting. The IRS Instructions for Form 1099-MISC state that "payments to a tax-exempt organization" are exempt from reporting a Form 1099-MISC. The following are typical examples of payments of $600 or more by a church which are subject to reporting a Form 1099-MISC: Rent paid to an individual (non-corporation) Payments for services rendered by individuals who are not employees (e.g. janitorial service, facilities, snow removal, guest speakers) Support sent directly to missionaries
Question: A church is setting up QuickBooks for its accounting, but its personnel have little experience with fund accounting. What are the entries for the receipt and disbursement of designated gifts and the opening balances? Answer: We recommend that most churches that do not need to present financial statements in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) observe the following steps. Even those churches that do report using GAAP can employ these methods but must make some adjustments when preparing their financial statements. What we will demonstrate relates to what most churches call "designated gifts" (CPAs call these Temporarily Restricted gifts). These are gifts that donors contribute with the intention that the church will spend the funds as they direct. Most churches do not receive "endowment gifts" in which donors prohibit the expenditure of the core gift (CPAs call these Permanently Restricted gifts). Only earnings on the subsequ
Question: A church owns a parsonage, but the pastor does not use it as he owns his own home. The church rents the parsonage to a tenant other than a minister or employee of the church. Will the church be responsible for paying income tax on these monies as Unrelated Business Income (filing a Form 990-T) even if the money is used to carry on the business of the church? Answer: Whether the money is used for church purposes is irrelevant. IRS Publication 598 states: "If an exempt organization regularly carries on a trade or business not substantially related to its exempt purpose, except that it provides funds to carry out that purpose, the organization is subject to tax on its income from that unrelated trade or business." Fortunately, in the case of rental income from real property, such income is "excluded in computing unrelated business taxable income" (Publication 598). Caution: see content below regarding debt-financed property. However, a second concern not a