Index of the January 2015 Issue

Posted on January 15, 2015 by otinfo

Five things to remember about clergy housing allowance
Clergy housing allowance has been in the news and guidance for proper handling of the allowance is unique. Here are five items to help congregations and clergy administer the allowance in compliance with IRS regulations. >more

2015 Clergy Tax Guide and Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches
Filing taxes can be complicated, especially for clergy. Consider the Clergy Tax Return Preparation Guide offered by Portico Benefit Services. Download the guide for free on myPortico. Also consider the Federal reporting Requirements for Churches resource to help your congregation comply with federal tax reporting requirements. You can find this resource on EmployerLink. >more

Parochial reports 
There are good reasons to complete your congregation’s Annual Report, but here’s one. The Office of the Presiding Bishop is working with ELCA seminaries to implement ways in reducing debt pastors accumulate in seminary. This work has been supported by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, in part because this church could show trends in congregational membership and giving that can impact a pastor’s salary. How did we obtain this data? From the dedicated people who complete their annual reports. Thank you! Please complete congregational reports by Feb. 15, 2015.

Discounted software for religious organizations
TechSoup offers discounted computer software and services to non-profits by brokering donations from vendors. Religious organizations are not eligible for some of the offers, but a subset of the TechSoup catalog is available to faith-based organizations. For example, Intuit has extended their eligibility requirements for their QuickBooks software to include religious groups (e.g., congregations and synods).> more

Winter checklist
While you can’t change the weather, you can minimize some of winter’s biggest threats to your facilities by taking several basic steps now to prevent damage. >more

IRS mileage allowance
The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. >more

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