3 Steps for Avoiding Financial Crisis | How Can We Fund a New Ministry Idea? | View online




Featured Resource: 2014 Church & Clergy Tax Guide

Richard Hammar, in his annual Church & Clergy Tax Guide, quotes former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, who once said "Our tax code is so complicated, we've made it nearly impossible for even the Internal Revenue Service to understand."

Indeed, complying with the Internal Revenue Code can be daunting for church leaders, especially with the thought of the IRS looking over their shoulders.

Such worries felt slightly lessened—even if only temporary—after a court ruled in 2009 that a higher ranking official needed to be identified by the IRS in order to authorize all church audits. Of course, as readers of the Church Finance Today newsletter know, the IRS has still quietly maintained tabs on churches through payroll tax audits. But the church audit matter seemed frozen, with no signs of thawing anytime soon.

Until last month. Recent developments suggest the IRS is ready to audit churches again (and 99 apparently merit examinations once an unrelated moratorium on nonprofit audits lifts).

Now is the right time to review your church's activities, especially ones that may affect its tax-exempt status. Use these developments to help equip and inform your leaders, keeping in mind the Church & Clergy Tax Guide is the perfect companion to navigate numerous tax regulations.


More this week:

  • 3 tips for avoiding a church financial crisis—and these aren't ones you normally hear.
  • How do we fund a new ministry idea in the middle of our budget year?
  • Train your finance committee with this bundle of resources on embezzlement prevention.

The Lord bless you and keep you,



Matthew Branaugh
Editor, Church Finance Today

P.S. Receive critical reminders each week about upcoming legal, tax, and finance deadlines with the Richard Hammar's Essential Reminders eNewsletter. Sign up now with one click.


Featured Article


Church Payroll Tax Audits—the IRS Is Watching

Get these files and paperwork organized to stay prepared.

Dan Busby

You may have heard that the Internal Revenue Service hasn't been auditing churches since 2009.

This is generally true because of the challenge the IRS faces with clearing the hurdles of the Church Audit Procedures Act (IRC 7611). For several years now, the IRS has been unable to finalize regulations related to the law concerning who is a "high ranking" IRS official authorized to approve church income tax audits.

However, based on what I'm told by churches and tax professionals, the IRS is active in church payroll tax audits. These audits are not subject to the IRC 7611 limitations.

Click to continue.



Recommended Resources

2014 Church & Clergy Tax Guide

A year-round reference to help you understand U.S. tax laws as they relate to pastors and churches.


Finance Committee Professional Pack II: Embezzlement

Learn how to protect against embezzlement and know the steps to take when it's discovered.


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Church Finance Today
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Five insights on church budget priorities.

Matthew Branaugh




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