Accountable versus Non-Accountable Reimbursement Plans

If your Church helps to pay your clergy expenses, how they pay you makes a big difference when it comes to filing your 1040 tax return. Under an “accountable” plan, the Church only pays your exact expense. Either you submit receipts to them and they pay you the amount of the expense, or you use…

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Clergy can still deduct unreimbursed business expenses!

If you are not a licensed tax professional, you probably get most of your tax news from friends, family or news programs. “I don’t have to track business expenses, I heard they are no longer deductible” has been a fairly common statement this tax season. But for Clergy, this statement is actually false! The Tax…

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Sample Letter Explaining the 2020 Form W-4 to Employees

Beginning in January 2020, there will be a whole new look for the W-4 form, which is where workers tell their employers how much money to take out — or withhold — from their paychecks for federal income taxes. The biggest change to the W-4 form is the removal of the allowances section. You’ll no longer…

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Are Mandatory Tithes a Deductible Business Expense?

Donating to Charity is normally listed as an itemized deduction on Schedule A, but some Churches also require a tithe in their terms of employment. Is mandatory tithing deductible for clergy as an unreimbursed business expense against self-employment taxes? The question matters a lot. With the increased standard deduction of the Tax Cuts and Jobs…

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2019 E-filing Opens January 27th!

For you go-getters and early risers, IRS will start processing 2019 tax returns on January 27th of 2020. There are some valid reasons to delay filing, though. You may not have all of your tax documents yet. You may still be considering contributing more to a retirement account. And some state and federal tax changes…

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Employee Managment – Time Tracking

Question: Our employees often don’t turn their timesheets in on time. If an employee doesn’t submit his/her sheet on time, can we delay processing his paycheck until the next pay period? Answer: Getting employees to turn timesheets in on time can be challenging. It is the obligation of the church to pay employees on the…

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IRS Releases New Tax Withholding Estimator

The IRS has released an enhanced Tax Withholding Estimator that incorporates changes from the redesigned Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate. The new Form W-4 includes changes that can affect employees’ refunds or the amount of tax they owe. For example, income tax withholding is no longer based on the employee’s marital status and withholding allowances,…

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Hiring Contractors? Get the W-9 Upfront!

Hiring Contractors? Get the W-9 Upfront! Churches that hire contractors have a requirement to obtain their Tax ID Number on form W-9 if they will have to issue a 1099-MISC to them. However, Churches may not know at the beginning of the year if they will pay more than $600 and need to send the…

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As the Year Begins, Tax Scams are on the Rise

Tax season isn’t until April, but tax scammers are already looking to take advantage of the upcoming tax season. Here are five quick tips to help avoiding tax scams this year: Be suspicious of anyone that says you must pay or face immediate foreclosure, seizure, jail time, or deportation. Tax scams tend to be very…

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Who qualifies for “Clergy Status”

The employing congregation, denomination, integral agency of a denomination or a church, or religious organization is responsible to determine whether an individual qualifies as clergy status under the federal law definition. Having “minister” in the title or ministerial duties in a job description is not enough. The IRS uses the five criteria listed below to…

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