Handbook Purpose

This Employee Handbook is intended to inform employees about the philosophy of the church, employment practices, policies, and benefits, as well as the conduct expected from employees. While this handbook is not intended to be a contract, it does include important guidelines that employees are expected to understand and follow.  Except for the at-will employment…

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The Ins and Outs of Conducting Background Checks

Have you considered conducting background checks as part of your hiring process? The practice is fairly typical within the church and for those who work with children, the elderly, or people with disabilities. If you’re wondering whether you should do so as well, check out our overview of the process below.   Identify the reason for…

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How does an inheritance get taxed?

If you recently received an inheritance, you may be wondering if you have any tax obligations. Fortunately, except for very large estates, most people will never have to pay any sort of tax on their inheritance. Estate tax is calculated based on the value of the deceased’s assets at time of death. This is usually…

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What is the Housing Allowance?

The Clergy Housing Allowance is a portion of a Minister’s pay that has been designated to pay housing expenses. It is considered one of the best tax benefits currently available to Clergy because this portion of income can potentially be exempt from income taxes. In order to determine how much of the Clergy Housing Allowance…

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I can’t file because they won’t give me a W-2!

Most taxpayers will receive their W-2 forms in January and file their returns, no problem. But what do you do if your employer won’t give you a W-2, or they refuse to correct it? IRS expects you to contact your employer and try to fix it with them, first. Make sure to document your attempts…

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Avoid Classifying Employees as Independent Contractors

Q. Can churches classify paid workers as independent contractors to avoid paying FICA or withholding income taxes from them? A. No. Churches cannot classify paid workers as independent contractors in an effort to save money. They must follow the law. For a non-clergy employee, the church generally must withhold income and FICA (Social Security and…

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Reporting taxable perks for pastors – Q&A

Question: Our pastors are allowed to charge their gym memberships on the church credit card. Is there a specific box on the W-2 where this is reported? Answer: No. The full fair market value of gym memberships is taxable and reportable on the pastor’s W-2s as wages in Box 1. 

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FLSA Changes: Updating Your Policies and Practices

Have you reviewed your policies and practices in light of the upcoming overtime changes? Reclassified employees may have to follow procedures and policies that didn’t apply to them before—or that you didn’t have. Changing habits can be a challenge, but changing those of your formerly exempt employees with respect to hours worked and tracked is…

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Church Responsibilities – I-9 Audit

In accordance with federal law, all individuals hired by the church are required to establish and certify their identity and right to work in the United States. Individuals employed in the United States are required to complete Section 1 of the Form I-9 no later than their first day of employment. This may be completed…

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Payroll Compliance – Form I-9

We receive a lot of questions about the I-9—the form used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all individuals hired for employment in the United States. Here are some of the most common: 1: How Should I-9s Be Stored? Separately. We recommend that you keep all I-9s in either a separate master file or…

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