In January 2011, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, asked the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) to facilitate responses on policy issues related to financial accountability for religious nonprofits. The result was the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations. Join us on Monday, June 17, 2013 for a timely discussion about possible policy changes that may impact you. Register Here.
Rob Eby, CPA of Aronson, LLC, will be leading a discussion about the Commission’s findings and how the policy changes will impact you, including:
- Senior leadership compensation
- Love offerings and housing allowances
- Donor engagement
- Administration of the law
About the Forum:
The forum is FREE, but registration is required.
Project Bridges Ministry Renewal Forums are designed to address pertinent ministry issues and to provide an opportunity to network and obtain strategic informational updates with governmental, community and faith-based leaders.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, May 31
First Baptist Church of Glenarden Ministry Center
3600 Brightseat Road | Landover, MD 20785
DATE: Monday, June 17, 2013
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
For More Information:
The first 50 people to register for this webinar using promo code CompSet will receive a $10 discount.
Find out more and register here.
Allegations of fraud or financial mismanagement of religious organizations has cast a pall on the vast majority of faith-based nonprofits operating with integrity and accountability. However, by working together to adhere to best practices, the nonprofit community can have a positive impact on public perception. Most importantly, a commitment to compliance and self-regulation will help you achieve your mission and attract donors.
Senator Charles Grassley asked ECFA to lead an effort to provide input on key policy issues related to financial accountability in the religious nonprofit sector. ECFA, in response, formed the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations to offer suggestions on how we can work together to improve accountability and preserve the great work that is being done each day.
Join Aronson LLC nonprofit expert Rob Eby, CPA on February 28th for a webinar discussion on these important topics:
- The Commission’s Findings
- Donor Engagement
- Administration of the Law
Register today to reserve your spot at this free and convenient online presentation!
July 25, 2012
2pm EST, 1pm CST, 12 MST, 11am PST
Sign up using the following link:
Topics to be covered in the webinar are:
- What is the IRS definition of a “church” and a “religious organization”
- How to apply for tax exempt status
- How to stay tax exempt
- Special rules for compensation of ministers
- Recordkeeping and filing
- Rules limiting an IRS audit of a church
An organization seeking exemption under section 501(c)(3) of the Code is required to apply for recognition of exemption on Form 1023. However, churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches seeking section 501(c)(3) status are exempted from this application requirement. Churches that meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3) are automatically considered tax exempt and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of tax-exempt status from the IRS. However, it is noted that some Churches choose to obtain the tax-exempt status from the IRS to assure their members that any contributions made are indeed tax-exempt. In addition, this exemption is only for types of organizations listed above. Religious organizations, that wish to be tax-exempt and whose gross receipts exceed $5,000, must still apply to the IRS for the coveted status.
It is important to note what rules all 501(c)(3)’s (including churches ) must abide by to maintain their status:
- Their net earnings may not be given to a private individual or shareholder.
- Their substantial benefit cannot be to private interests.
- The majority of their time cannot be devoted to attempting to influence legislations.
- They cannot participate or intervene in any political campaign.
- Their purpose and activities must be legal and not violate fundamental public policy.
In conclusion, if you are unsure if you need to obtain an IRS determination letter, err on the side of caution and get one!
#nonprofit #determinationletter #taxexempt #irsfiling
The fourth annual State of the Plate research results compiled by Maximum Generosity, in collaboration with Christianity Today International and ECFA has been released. The State of the Plate is a valuable resource for churches. It documents trend, demographic information and draws conclusions from its survey of thousands of churches.
#church #ECFA #stateoftheplate #nonprofit #taxexempt
Spring is here and summer is quickly approaching. And with summer coming, adults and students are anticipating traveling as part of a school, church or other nonprofit sponsored trip to all parts of our county and the world. These trips help individuals develop a world view. They can be a great resource to those in need. They can also expose individuals to dangers not common in a person’s everyday life. Last June an Arizona jury awarded an individual nearly $6 million in a case involving a mission trip that went terribly wrong when a person working on repairing a roof fell through.
Now that spring is here and trips are still in the planning stages, use this time to meet with your leaders to think through potential risks. Develop a plan for safety. Spend time training the participants on the risks, how they will be managed and how to do task they would not normally perform. Don’t assume everyone knows how to be safe on a construction site. Also, meet with your insurance, risk management professional to discuss the plans for managing the risks. Make sure the sending organization and individuals are adequately covered. Use this time to plan for a safe and life-changing trip!
(read more on the mission trip here)
#ecotourism #riskassessment #nonprofit #taxexempt #precaution
There has been a lot of discussion in the media and on the Hill about federal regulations that could require religious organizations to cover the cost of contraceptives under their health care plans. The IRS has published the final regulations authorizing the exemption of group health plans and group health insurance coverage sponsored by certain religious employers from having to cover contraceptive services under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. These final regulations are effective on April 16, 2012.
The final regulations specified that, for purposes of this exemption, a religious employer is one that: (1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and (4) is a non-profit organization described in section 6033(a)(1) and section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii) of the Code.
The final regulations also created a temporary enforcement safe harbor to accommodate organizations that don’t meet the above definition and have religious objections to covering contraceptive services. During the temporary enforcement safe harbor, the Federal departments plan to develop and propose changes to these final regulations that would meet two goals – providing contraceptive coverage without cost-sharing to individuals who want it and accommodating non-exempted, non-profit organizations’ religious objections to covering contraceptive services. Continue reading »
In an election year, lots of questions come up about what churches and religious organizations can and can’t do in regards to politics. Can pastors outside of their church speak on behalf of a candidate? Is it ok to introduce a candidate during a worship service? Are ministers permitted to preach on hot topics being addressed by candidates? Can houses of worship invite candidates to speak during normal worship services? The IRS provides guidance in its Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations. The section covering political activities begins on page 7. There are many helpful examples. Violations of the IRS rules could put the organization’s 501(c)(3) status at risk!
On September 13, the Freedom from Religious Foundation (FFRF) filed a new case seeking a declaration that the housing allowance for ministers is unconstitutional. Their argument includes that the individual plaintiffs, FFRF officers in this case, are receiving housing allowances from FFRF that do not qualify for the same tax status as they would if they were clergy. Read the full article published by the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
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