Dealing with IRS Tax Notices

A taxing authority such as the IRS or State will issue a written notice under various scenarios, some of which are discussed below. (Note that the initial contact is always by mail; if you receive a phone call purportedly from the IRS or other tax authority, it is fraudulent, and you should hang up without…

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Five things to remember about clergy housing allowance

Clergy are permitted to exclude from their taxable income the costs of maintaining their primary residence. This housing allowance is not included as taxable income on pastors’ W-2s. There are rules for determining, documenting and reporting a housing allowance that need to be followed. Clergy need to determine the cost of maintaining their primary residence for…

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Payroll Retention Period

Churches must record and preserve specified information and records to show compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provisions relating to minimum wage, overtime, equal pay and child labor, for each employee COVERED by FLSA Retention Period: 3 Years Required Name, address Date of birth Gender, occupation Workweek days If paid O/T… regular pay rate…

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2016 Tax Season Will Begin On February 1st.

Clergy Financial Resources will begin accepting and e-filing individual returns on February 1, 2016.  We will also begin processing paper tax returns at the same time. We look forward to opening the 2016 tax season. Our employees have been working hard helping clergy all year to get ready for this filing season. The filing deadline to submit 2015 tax returns is…

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Fraud Alert

We have received word from a congregation that incurred a sizable loss of funds to do an elaborate and sophisticated email scam.  Scammers use email addresses similar to existing church email accounts of pastors and other staff members, often requesting sizable sums of money to be wired for “projects that are URGENT and CONFIDENTIAL”.  The scammers prey on…

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2016 Standard Mileage Rates

Optional standard mileage rates for ministry and business use of a vehicle will go down in 2016, the IRS announced on Thursday (Notice 2016-1). For ministry and business use of a car, van, pickup truck, or panel truck, the rate for 2016 will be 54 cents per mile, compared with 57.5 cents in 2015. Driving…

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Average U.S. Credit Card Debt

The total amount of debt owed by U.S. consumers has reached $11.91 trillion, with the average indebted household owing $15,355 in credit card debt alone, according to NerdWallet’s Annual American Household Credit Card Debt Study. As one of the most expensive types of debt, credit card debt costs consumers an average of $2,630 per year in…

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Hear It Straight from Our Customers: Why They Made the Switch

Think it’s too late to switch your tax or payroll service before tax season? Think again. A change to Clergy Financial Resources now means a better partnership that is committed to providing close, personal attention. We take pride in giving you the assurance that the personal assistance you receive represents our commitment to excellence years…

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Employee Handbooks – An Overview

No law requires an employee handbook, but every church should eventually have one. Why? Because written policies help to bring order in the workplace and protect employers against potential lawsuits. The handbook is designed to provide employees with a general summary description of the church personnel policies, programs, and employee benefits. The church has the…

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The Worst Tax Penalties to Avoid

A question we continually hear from my clients is, “How do I pay less tax?” But as you know, there is no simple answer to this question. While tax reduction strategies do exist, they are limited for the majority of clergy−and they do take some planning and attention. But there is one tax saving approach…

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