Finance Topics

AIEM Housing Allowances

Ross Williams

October 04, 2021

Dear Clergy on Appointment in Extension Ministries, We want to ensure that you understand and take advantage of an important tax benefit available to ordained clergy.  Please read the information below on how to set up a housing exclusion so that a portion of your income can be treated as tax-free for federal, state and local purposes.  While you may not be currently serving a “church”, you can still qualify for this favorable tax treatment subject to the rules below.  The most important rule is...

Letter From BSA Bankruptcy Court

Ross Williams

March 11, 2021

Dear Pastors, Treasurers and Finance & Trustee Chairs, You may have recently received a letter from the court that is overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings of the Boy Scouts of America. The General Council on Finance and Administration of the United Methodist Church has formed an ad-hoc committee to work on this matter on behalf of all U.S. based UMC churches.  GCFA and this committee will engage legal counsel as needed to properly represent our churches. There is no action you need to take ...

Discounted Software for Not-for-profits

Ross Williams

March 10, 2021

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors), Churches have the ability to purchase computer software at steeply discounted rates through a Not-for-profit organization called "TechSoup" (yes, it's a very strange name). Their catalog includes more than 375 products from over 90 companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, Intuit, and Symantec.  The prices through TechSoup represent savings of hundreds of dollars over the normal retail cost of these products.   You can view the entire catalog ...


Ross Williams

February 22, 2021

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors), As you probably know, the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed by Congress at the end of last year revived and revised the Paycheck Protection Program.  The UMC legal teams have collaborated on guidance covering pertinent information about Second Draw Loans, plus some changes that also apply to initial loans.  That document is available on their Covid-19 resources website, which you can access by clicking here.    The appropriations act ...

Annual Audits

Ross Williams

February 21, 2021

Dear Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors and Treasurers) The Finance Committee is responsible for ensuring that all financial books, records and bank accounts undergo an annual audit. This is required by The Book of Discipline, the governing document of our denomination (see excerpt at end of e-mail).  Included in the audit (or audited separately) must be the transactions of the church's operating account, Board of Trustees, Preschool (if controlled by the church), Memorial Funds, Endowment Funds, ...

Thank You!

Ross Williams

January 27, 2021

Dear Pastors, Church Council Chairs, Finance Chairs, and Treasurers, I would like to take this opportunity to say "thanks" for your tremendous commitment in honoring the work of our connectional church!  As a former church treasurer and finance chair I am keenly aware of what it means for a church to pay their conference apportionments.  It is not a trivial accomplishment, especially in what have been incredibly challenging and uncertain times.  We ended 2020 collecting 78% of all ...

Free Webinar on Clergy Taxes

Ross Williams

January 26, 2021

Dear Pastors, Please see information below on a free webinar on the subject of clergy taxes.  It is scheduled for Monday, February 15th at 11:00am. To register, click here. Sincerely, Ross Clergy face unique challenges related to Social Security payments, estimated tax payments, housing allowances or exclusions, and reimbursed expenses. Clergy may have questions about the implications of the pandemic on the 2020 tax situation. Your corner tax preparer may not understand the unique situation of ...

NY State Family Leave Law

Sally Truglia

January 21, 2021

Information for UMC Churches and affiliated organizations in New York State Starting January 1, 2018, New York will put in place one of the most comprehensive paid family leave laws in the nation.  The final regulations are still pending and guidelines are just becoming available. However, it’s still important to pass along information about the current NY disability law and its upcoming change. New York is one of a handful of states that require employers to provide disability insurance ...

Reminder - Statistical Tables Due

Margaret Howe

January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021 Dear Pastor, Finance Committee Chair, Treasurer, Trustee Chair: Reminder:  Statistical Table completion date is January 31.  I am sending again the letter sent on December 16th.  Thank you to those who have competed – to those who have started.  Thank you to those who have asked questions and those who have requested additional training.  I trust you will have your Tables completed by the due date! My email is available to receive and questions or concerns! It is that time of ...

Workers' Compensation Submission Due by February 26th

Ross Williams

January 13, 2021

Dear Church Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Preschools (copy to Pastors):  (This communication is also being sent via U.S. mail to ensure receipt) The Conference uses an online collection system for payroll data, which streamlines the process of issuing accurate bills for Workers' Compensation insurance.  It is now time for churches, charges and church-controlled preschools, nurseries and camps to report their final 2020 wages by February 26th using this system.  Even if you have zero payroll, we...

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