The Church Finance & Minister Tax Podcast- Church finances, Minister Taxes, Minister payroll, IRS Compliance

Hey there, I’m Michelle and I love all things Jesus, business and church finances! I help church finance individuals just like you go from feeling confused and frustrated with what you don’t know about church finances, to being more confident in your role while increasing your proficiency and expertise in the church finance realm. Are you tired of Google searches that result in endless pages of answers to your questions about church finances, housing allowances and clergy taxes? Do you need help with getting the right processes and procedures in place for your church office or business? Are you looking for a group of like-minded believers who understand your desire to do business and serve the local church God’s way? In this podcast, you will find practical AND biblically based business solutions for your church office or bookkeeping business that serves churches . We will give you tried and true bookkeeping tips and lessons that are specific to the church ministry and other foundational practices that you need in place to make sure that the church(es) that you serve are in compliance with current industry standards and IRS tax code. We will also lean into mindset training to help you think like the business professional God created you to be and renewing your mind through the application of truths from the Word of God that will encourage and free you to do business God’s way while learning what you didn’t even know you needed to know! My mission is twofold: #1 to help church bookkeepers/treasurers/finance individuals become more confident in their role and increase their expertise in church finances. #2 to help business owners unapologetically do business God’s way and grow a successful bookkeeping business they feel good about and that helps make the world a better place. If you are ready to walk out the calling the Lord has on your life while serving Him with excellence - then you are definitely in the right place! I tried to achieve success in the secular world but felt unfulfilled and like an outsider because of my beliefs. I finally realized that taking the risk to create a business (or businesses in my case), where I could openly express my faith and beliefs and to put God at the center of everything I did, was more exciting to me than the fear of the ”what if’s”. So, I did it! Not once, but twice! I want to share with you what I’ve learned through my 20 years of business experience in both Christian retail and my bookkeeping business to help you take that step of faith and walk in courageous obedience to God. If you are ready to serve your church with confidence and/or create a business that keeps God at the center of everything you do WHILE helping to make the world a better place all at the same time - this podcast is for you! So grab your Bible, a notebook or laptop, and the dream God gave you, because we’re doing this. It’s time to serve Him with Excellence! Learn: www.churchfinances.org Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/churchbookkeepingandclergytax

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Episodes

2 days ago

In today's episode I share about a recent consultation session I had and what I shared about not allowing others to walk over you even when you work at a church!
Listen in and hear the passion :-)
xo,
Michelle
Next Steps:
Grab Your Freebies:
Six Steps to Doing Business God's Way    biz owners
A QuickStart Guide to Church Finances   everybody
Looking for a group of like-minded people that want to keep Jesus at the center of everything they do?
 Join the BEST FaceBook group for church finances at Church Bookkeeping and Clergy Tax Facebook Group
Need an extra hand with an immediate situation? Schedule a Consultation:
Schedule Consultation

Tuesday May 21, 2024

Are you a church leader feeling overwhelmed by financial compliance? Stay tuned for part 2 of our series on Navigating the IRS maze: Tips for Church Financial Compliance. From maintaining accurate records to staying up-to-date with IRS filings, we've got you covered. Get ready to streamline your financial processes and gain peace of mind. I’m so happy to have you join me today!
As promised.... here is the IRS blurb you need to include in your contribution statements (or something similar)
Statement that goods or services, if any, that the organization provided in return for the contribution consisted entirely of intangible religious benefits, if that was the case.
xo,
Michelle
Next Steps:
Grab Your Freebies:
Six Steps to Doing Business God's Way    biz owners
A QuickStart Guide to Church Finances   everybody
Looking for a group of like-minded people that want to keep Jesus at the center of everything they do?
 Join the BEST FaceBook group for church finances at Church Bookkeeping and Clergy Tax Facebook Group
Need an extra hand with an immediate situation? Schedule a Consultation:
Schedule Consultation

Tuesday May 14, 2024

Feeling lost in a maze of IRS regulations?  Don't worry, you're not alone. Many church leaders and finance managers find themselves overwhelmed by the intricate web of rules and requirements. But fear not, because today, we're here to shed some light on the path to financial compliance. Today’s episode will kick off our 3 part series on Navigating the IRS Maze: Tips for Church Financial Compliance. I’m so happy to have you join me today!
 
xo
Michelle
Next Steps:
Grab Your Freebies:
Six Steps to Doing Business God's Way    biz owners
A QuickStart Guide to Church Finances   everybody
Looking for a group of like-minded people that want to keep Jesus at the center of everything they do?
 Join the BEST FaceBook group for church finances at Church Bookkeeping and Clergy Tax Facebook Group
Need an extra hand with an immediate situation? Schedule a Consultation:
Schedule Consultation

Monday May 13, 2024


I'm thrilled to share that the Bookkeeping with a Purpose podcast is evolving to better support our church office crew and is rebranding to a new name “The Church & Minister Tax Podcast”. Same location, all the back episodes, just a new name and expanded focus. Alongside finance and tax tips, we're diving into admin tricks and organization hacks to make your life easier. With over three decades of office experience under my belt, I'm here to offer the best advice on running your office smoothly and ethically.
 
xo
Michelle R Brown, EA
Join our FREE FaceBook Community
Intro To Church Finances course waitlist
 
 

Thursday Mar 07, 2024

NOTE: The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) use different criteria for determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor, and the criteria serve different purposes.
The DOLs criteria are primarily used for determining eligibility for wage and hourly protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), ( which we covered in Ep 57) while the IRS’s 20-factor control test is used for tax purposes.
On January 9th, 2024, the DOL unveiled its final rule, which fundamentally alters how businesses/organizations (incl. churches) determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Effective March 11th, 2024, this rule replaces the 2021 independent contractor rule issued under former President Donald Trump, introducing a six-factor test to evaluate worker classification.
 But what exactly are these six factors, and how do they impact churches and workers alike? We break it down in this episode.
xo,
Michelle
Next Steps:
Grab Your Freebies:
Six Steps to Doing Business God's Way    biz owners
A QuickStart Guide to Church Finances   everybody
Looking for a group of like-minded people that want to keep Jesus at the center of everything they do?
 Join the BEST FaceBook group for church finances at Church Bookkeeping and Clergy Tax Facebook Group
If you’re a church staff member or volunteer looking to serve your local church with excellence, check out my membership group The Bookkeepers Inner Circle @ www.bookkeepersInnerCircle.com
Need an extra hand with an immediate situation? Schedule a Consultation:
Schedule Consultation

Wednesday Feb 28, 2024

Segment 1: Tax Realities
Ministers Pay Taxes: Dispelling myths.
Legal Truth: Courts reject tax exemption claims.
Cautionary Note: Risks of tax evasion.
Segment 2: Ministerial Taxes 101
Tax Status: Ministers are self-employed.
Who's Qualified: Active licensed, ordained, or commissioned ministers.
Tax Responsibilities: Pay taxes through withholding or estimated payments.
Segment 3: Compliance & Penalties
Filing Rules: Ministers must file if earning over $400.
Accuracy Matters: Penalties for wrong tax reporting.
Get Help: Advising professional tax assistance.
Segment 4: Church Payroll Taxes
Get FEIN: Federal Employer Identification Number is essential.
How to Get FEIN: Fill Form SS-4.
EFTPS Registration: Needed for tax payments.
Segment 5: Payroll Tax Basics
Federal Income Tax
Medicare Tax
Social Security Tax
Unemployment Taxes for Churches.
xo,
Michelle
Next Steps:
Grab Your Freebies:
Six Steps to Doing Business God's Way    biz owners
A QuickStart Guide to Church Finances   everybody
Looking for a group of like-minded people that want to keep Jesus at the center of everything they do?
 Join the BEST FaceBook group for church finances at Church Bookkeeping and Clergy Tax Facebook Group
If you’re a church staff member or volunteer looking to serve your local church with excellence, check out my membership group The Bookkeepers Inner Circle @ www.bookkeepersInnerCircle.com
Need an extra hand with an immediate situation? Schedule a Consultation:
Schedule Consultation
 

Wednesday Feb 21, 2024

Tax season is upon us, and with it comes the need for proper documentation. Improper donation receipts can cause headaches for both donors and organizations. In this episode, we'll dive into the essential elements of a donation acknowledgment letter to ensure compliance with IRS standards.
Main Content:
Understanding IRS Requirements:
Explaining IRS guidelines for donors, including the need for timely written communication and recordkeeping.
Highlighting the responsibility of donors to obtain proper documentation for charitable contributions.
Church's Responsibilities:
Outlining the essential components of a donation acknowledgement letter, as specified by the IRS.
Emphasizing the importance of timely and accurate acknowledgement for contributions of $250 or more.
Crafting the Letter:
Providing a step-by-step guide for structuring a donation acknowledgement letter.
Discussing the format, content, and personalization techniques to enhance donor engagement.
Conclusion: As we wrap up, remember the significance of accurate recordkeeping and timely acknowledgement in fostering trust and compliance. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your organization meets IRS standards and cultivates strong relationships with donors.
See links below that were referenced in this episode.
IRS Publication 1771
IRS Publication 526
xo,
Michelle
Next Steps:
Grab Your Freebies:
Six Steps to Doing Business God's Way    biz owners
A QuickStart Guide to Church Finances   everybody
Looking for a group of like-minded people that want to keep Jesus at the center of everything they do?
 
Join the BEST FaceBook group for church finances at Church Bookkeeping and Clergy Tax Facebook Group
 
If you’re a church staff member or volunteer looking to serve your local church with excellence, check out my membership group The Bookkeepers Inner Circle @ www.bookkeepersInnerCircle.com
Need an extra hand with an immediate situation? Schedule a Consultation:
Schedule Consultation

Wednesday Feb 14, 2024

Introduction:
Welcome to episode 57 of the Bookkeeping with a Purpose podcast!
Exploring the complexities of federal regulations, particularly regarding church employees and overtime rules.
I stumbled upon something fascinating recently, and you know me, I can’t keep cool discoveries to myself. So, buckle up for a journey into the world of church finance regulations!
Federal regulations often lack clarity, especially when it comes to topics like church employees and overtime rules.
Sparked by a question about a past episode I recorded on church employees and overtime rules, recent research uncovered new insights, prompting a deeper dive into the subject. Spoiler alert: it’s not as straightforward as it seems.
Segment 1: Quote of the Day
Drawing inspiration from Greek philosopher Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Segment 2: Understanding Fact Sheet #14A
Exploring Fact Sheet #14A from the Wage & Hour Division of the US Department of Labor.
Highlighting protections offered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including minimum wage, overtime regulations, record-keeping requirements, and child labor standards.
Segment 3: Coverage Criteria
Diving into two key ways employees are covered under the FLSA.
Enterprise Coverage: Employees of businesses generating at least $500,000 in annual sales revenue, with exceptions for non-profit organizations unless engaged in qualifying commercial activities.
Individual Coverage: Employees engaged in interstate commerce or closely-related processes essential to such production.
Segment 4: Application to Church Employees
Demonstrating how church employees may fall under FLSA protections, particularly through involvement in interstate commerce-related activities.
Debunking common misconceptions and emphasizing compliance with overtime regulations, minimum wage rules, record-keeping requirements, and child labor standards.
Segment 5: Volunteer Guidelines
Clarifying volunteer regulations outlined in Fact Sheet #14A:
Restrictions on volunteering in commercial activities.
Prohibitions against displacing paid employees with volunteers.
Limitations on paid employees volunteering for similar services performed in their job roles.
Episode Support Links
Fact Sheet #14A: Non-Profit Organizations and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
xo,
Michelle
Next Steps:
Grab Your Freebies:
6 Step Process to Doing Business God's Way    biz owners
FREE QuickStart Guide to Church Finances   everybody
Looking for a group of like-minded people that want to keep Jesus at the center of everything they do?
 
Join the BEST FaceBook group for church finances at Church Bookkeeping & Clergy Tax FaceBook Group
 
If you’re a church staff member or volunteer looking to serve your local church with excellence, check out my membership group The Bookkeepers Inner Circle @ Bookkeepers Inner Circle
Need an extra hand with an immediate situation? Schedule a Consultation:
Consultation   

Wednesday Feb 07, 2024

In Episode 42 I talked to you about 3 steps to help you create a sound budget. In today's episode I want to help you take the next step in the budgeting process - ensuring that every program you created a budget line item for is carried out with excellence so that you can actually stay within that budget! Listen in to see how you can continue to honor God in the budget process.
 
xo,
Michelle
Next Steps:
Grab Your Freebies:
https://churchfinances.ck.page/6steps    biz owners
https://churchfinances.ck.page/guide   everybody
Looking for a group of like-minded people that want to keep Jesus at the center of everything they do?
Join the BEST FaceBook group for church finances at https://www.facebook.com/groups/churchbookkeepingandclergytax
Need an extra hand with an immediate situation? Schedule a Consultation:
https://churchfinances.org/consult      

Wednesday Jan 31, 2024

Direct from the IRS website:
A minister's housing allowance (sometimes called a parsonage allowance or a rental allowance) is excludable from gross income for income tax purposes but not for self-employment tax purposes.
If you receive as part of your salary (for services as a minister) an amount officially designated (in advance of payment) as a housing allowance, and the amount isn’t more than reasonable pay for your services, you can exclude from gross income the lesser of the following amounts:
the amount officially designated (in advance of payment) as a housing allowance;
the amount actually used to provide or rent a home; or
the fair market rental value of the home (including furnishings, utilities, garage, etc.).
The payments officially designated as a housing allowance must be used in the year received.
Include any amount of the allowance that you can't exclude as wages on line 1a of Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return or Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors. Enter “Excess allowance” and the amount on the dotted line next to line 1a.
If your congregation furnishes housing in kind as pay for your services as a minister instead of a housing allowance, you may exclude the fair market rental value of the housing from income, but you must include the fair market rental value of the housing in net earnings from self-employment for self-employment tax purposes.
For more information on a minister’s housing allowance, refer to Publication 517, Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers.
For information on earnings for clergy and reporting of self-employment tax, refer to Tax Topic 417, Earnings for Clergy.
xo,
Michelle
Next Steps:
Grab Your Freebies:
https://churchfinances.ck.page/6steps    biz owners
https://churchfinances.ck.page/guide   everybody
Looking for a group of like-minded people that want to keep Jesus at the center of everything they do?
Join the BEST FaceBook group for church finances at https://www.facebook.com/groups/churchbookkeepingandclergytax
 
If you’re a church staff member or volunteer looking to serve your local church with excellence, check out my membership group The Bookkeepers Inner Circle @ www.bookkeepersInnerCircle.com
Need an extra hand with an immediate situation? Schedule a Consultation:
https://churchfinances.org/consult      

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