Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a relatively new way to gather donations from others for things like mission trips. Well known examples of crowdfunding websites include “Gofundme”, “Kickstarter” and “Patreon”. Since it is so new, there is not a lot of official IRS guidance on the subject. According to an IRS letter published in 2016 (which you can…

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Church-Owned Parsonages- Don’t Forget the Fair Rental Value and Utilities!

Members of the Clergy who live in church-owned parsonages get to exclude the fair rental value of their home and utilities paid by the church from their income when calculating income tax. However, they must add these amounts back into income when calculating self-employment taxes. This can come as a surprise to those who have…

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Hobbies versus Businesses

Many of us engage in arts or crafts, but when do you have to start reporting your work as a business to IRS rather than a hobby? The key feature that sets a business apart from a hobby is that a business is done in order to make a profit. The IRS will generally treat…

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Understanding Clergy W-2 Forms

In many smaller churches, the person in charge of preparing payroll or preparing W-2 forms is not always a payroll expert. They may not understand the complexities of clergy tax law or how compensation should be reported on the form. To help, Clergy Financial Resources has prepared a sample Clergy W-2 for reference, which you…

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Are clergy subject to W-4 withholdings?

Filling out and submitting a Form W-4, the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, enables your church to withhold the correct amount of federal income tax for non-clergy compensation. Using the form, you calculate the number of allowances that you can claim on your taxes by totaling your dependents, deductions, and adjustments to withholding. Calculating the correct number…

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I inherited a house. Do I have to pay the estate tax?

In most cases, the answer is no. While you may hear complaints about the “estate tax”, most Americans will never pay it. In 2019, the total assets of an estate have to be over $11,400,000 dollars before any estate tax is owed. Eleven Million Dollars! There is some confusion because there is an “estate tax”…

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Donating your RMD to Charity

When you reach 70 ½ years old, you must start taking Required Minimum Distributions (or RMDs) from your IRA. This can’t be helped… but did you know that you could donate your RMD to charity instead of receiving the income? IRS allows for an otherwise taxable distribution from an IRA (other than an ongoing SEP…

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2018 Webinar for Clergy W-2 Forms

Filing clergy returns can be an intimidating and even confusing process to the uninitiated. Practitioners and bookkeepers unfamiliar with clergy tax law will quickly find that Clergy W-2 forms differ slightly from regular W-2 forms. Often Social Security and Medicare withholding will get reported by mistake when they should not. Sometimes housing allowance or parsonages…

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W-2 and 1099 Deadline Approaching

January is here, bringing with it a new tax year and (you guessed it) new tax deadlines. W-2 and 1099 filings can be especially important for smaller organizations, who can be caught unaware that failing to file these forms timely causes stiff penalties. According to IRS’s instructions, employers must complete Form W-2, furnish a copy…

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How to Pay an Independent Contractor

There are specific rules that dictate whether you should pay someone as an employee or as an independent contractor.  There is no single test for determining if an individual is an independent contractor or an employee. Employee misclassification has always been an important issue and often can trigger IRS attention. Generally, an employee has an…

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