Clergy Housing Allowances

Ross Williams

September 17, 2020

Dear Clergy and Church Finance Leaders: The topic of clergy “Housing Allowances” can be a complicated one, involving very specific rules and confusing terminology.  It is also an area that requires action prior to the processing of payroll each calendar year.  So what follows is a summary based upon the many questions that I receive on this topic. The Basics: 1. Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code permits a “minister of the gospel” to exclude a “Housing Allowance” from income. This Housing ...


IRS Group Ruling Changes

Ross Williams

September 01, 2020

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, In May 2020, the IRS released proposed updates to the rules for group tax exemptions. These proposed updates would make several changes that could negatively impact our churches group exemption, including:  A requirement that all subordinate organizations adopt a “uniform governing instrument;” Specific definitions for the “general supervision” or “control” that the central organization must exercise over subordinates; and A requirement that ...


CARES Act Update

Ross Williams

August 12, 2020

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, SBA PPP:  On August 4th, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department and Small Business Administration (SBA) published a set of FAQs about Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness. While some of the FAQs repeat existing guidance in the SBA’s regulations and forms and instructions, the August 4th update provide some new information that may be helpful for PPP borrowers.  Please click on the link above to view the latest document. I've been getting ...


SBA PPP Guidance & Free Resources

Ross Williams

July 28, 2020

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, At the bottom of this e-mail is a link to a document providing guidance on applying for SBA PPP forgiveness.  If you received a PPP loan, you may find this document very helpful. Also, Horizons Stewardship has a free online resource library, Giving365 that is available to churches.  It contains over 200 videos, webinars, e-books, published articles, and other resources all designed to help churches make disciples and fund ministry.  I encourage you to...


Church Finances: How to stay afloat and thrive - even in 2020!

Ross Williams

June 24, 2020

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) will host its first virtual book club with Bonnie Marden, author of “Church Finances for Missional Leaders: Best Practices for Faithful Stewardship.”  Viewers are encouraged to order Marden’s book prior to the discussion and to ask questions during the event about how to manage church finances in this uniquely challenging time. The event will be streamed live on GBHEM’s Facebook page and ...


New SBA PPP Forgiveness Rules & Application

Ross Williams

June 18, 2020

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, Yesterday, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released a revised loan forgiveness application for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The SBA also unveiled a new EZ application for forgiveness of PPP loans. The applications reflect changes to the PPP made by the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act of 2020, which became law on June 5th. The applications and instructions are available in the links below: Revised PPP Loan Forgiveness ...


Free Stained Glass Windows

Ross Williams

June 17, 2020

Dear Clergy & Laity, We are looking for a suitable home for eight stained glass windows that are presently installed at St. John's Ridgewood UMC located in Queens, NY.  Attached are photos.  This church has recently closed its doors and we would like to find a good home for these beautiful windows. The windows are free to our member churches on a first-come, first served basis.  All that we ask is that they be removed by a business that has the experience to do so that carries adequate ...


Great News about the SBA PPP!

Ross Williams

June 05, 2020

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, There is GREAT news about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) sponsored by the Small Business Administration!  First - the PPP loan program still has funds available.  If you have not already applied, you can view a list of participating lenders here. But the big news is that hours ago, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (PPPFA) became law.  PPPFA is intended to make it far easier for Borrowers to achieve loan forgiveness. ...


Latest SBA PPP Guidance

Ross Williams

May 14, 2020

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, At the bottom of this e-mail is a link to the latest guidance from the Small Business Administration on the Payroll Protection Program. This guidance, in the form of "Frequently Asked Questions", was updated by the SBA yesterday. Please note a very important addition to this document regarding the financial necessity of these loans.  It appears in question 46, which I have excerpted below.  This new question and answer clarifies that the SBA will not ...


Forgiveness Rules for SBA PPP Loans

Ross Williams

May 05, 2020

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, The following "Frequently Asked Questions" summarize which categories of expenses may be forgivable as part of a Payroll Protection Loan based on current guidance from the Small Business Administration and the Department of Treasury.    Q1: Our church received PPP loan proceeds from our bank. Can the loan be forgiven? A1: Yes. According to SBA regulations the amount of forgiveness can be up to the full amount of the loan and any accrued interest, if ...


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