Finance Topics

Steeple Cell Tower Revenues

Ross Williams

November 30, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (cc to Pastors), Many of our churches continue to operate in a very challenging environment as a result of an aging membership, decreased attendance and worship facilities that are far larger than needed.  Some churches have been able to create supplemental revenue streams through the lease of interior steeple space to telecommunication companies.  The leasing of "real property" such as a steeple by a 501c3 is generally exempt from taxation.  But there are ...

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Fair Labor Standards Act

Ross Williams

November 28, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors), I previously sent an e-mail on October 3rd (see attached) summarizing new Department of Labor regulations for the payment of overtime that were to be effective December 1st.  The new requirements would have raised the threshold for "exempt" employees (those who are not paid overtime) from $23,660 to $47,476.  Last Tuesday, a Federal Judge in Texas issued an injunction blocking the implementation of these new requirements. What this means is...

New Payroll Rules - Fair Labor Standards Act

Ross Williams

October 03, 2016

Chances are your church has someone other than the pastor on payroll, so you need to be aware of new Department of Labor (DOL) rules and guidelines that will become effective on December 1, 2016.  The new regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) strengthen overtime and wage protection for workers by raising the salary level for "Exempt" employees from the prior amount of $455 per week ($23,660/year) to $913 per week ($47,476/year).  Churches will therefore want to look carefully at ...

Did You Receive Your Free Money For Ministry?

Ross Williams

September 06, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors), You may or may not be aware that churches are entitled to government refunds if they have incurred costs related to Healthcare for their employees.  One church in our Conference recently received a refund of $15,356.  In total, refunds received for churches in our Conference now exceed $48,000, with another $73,000 in the pipeline.  Please see an e-mail excerpt below from one of our church Treasurers:   “Dear Monte & Ross, I want to thank you...

GCFA Announces Avis Car Rental Plan

Ross Williams

January 16, 2015

Dear Pastors, Treasusrers and Finance Chairs, Please see the announcment below of special rates negotiated by GCFA with Avis and Budget Car rental. Sincerely, Ross To continue our commitment to provide excellent programs, we are happy to announce an arrangement with Avis Car Rental that can provide discounted rental rates. The program will benefit United Methodists throughout the connection. This global arrangement ...

Health Insurance Reporting on W-2

Sally Truglia

January 12, 2015

Happy New Year! Before you distribute W-2 tax forms for your employees and most specifically for your pastors, please be aware of some of the recent IRS rulings regarding the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act requires the employer (church) to report the value of the group medical insurance plan to the IRS in Box 12 using code DD.   The rates to be reported are the not the uniform rate that we charge each church, rather it is the actual premium rate that we are billed by HealthFlex. ...

Update on UMCmarket Program

Ross Williams

April 03, 2014

Dear Pastors, Treasurers and Finance Chairs, Please see the communication below containing an important update on the UMCmarket program.  This program is a way for churches to generate a non-traditional income stream.  It works by processing "micro-donations" to your church based upon on-line purchases that your congregation may already be making from large retailers such as, Barnes & Noble and Staples.  If you have questions about how this program works, please click on the link ...

Earned Sick Time Act - Alert (For churches in New York City)

Ross Williams

April 02, 2014

Dear Pastors, Finance Chairs and Treasurers, The message is applicable only to churches located within New York City. I recently received a notice about a new law, which requires action by May 1, 2014:  On March 20 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law an amendment to the EARNED SICK TIME ACT. The Act is scheduled to go into effect on April 1, 2014. The amendment expands the law and covers more employers as well as more industries than the original law. The Act requires most employers to ...

Get connected! Find resources! Courtesy of United Methodist Communications

Ross Williams

March 20, 2014

Dear Pastors, I received this e-mail from United Methodist Communications and thought it might be something you wish to subscribe to. Sincerely,  Ross   If the links in the content pasted below do not work, try the two following links: To view subscription options: To like UM COmmunications on ...

CT Imposes New Electronic Tax Return Filing Requirements in 2014

Ross Williams

January 31, 2014

Dear Treasurers & Finance Chairs in CT (copy to Pastors), span style="font-size:9.0pt;line-height:150%; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black">Please see the communication below that I recently received from our auditors.  For now, this only applies to churches in CT and most likely only to "income tax withholdings" since, generally speaking, the other taxes listed below are not applicable to churches.  My wife, who is Treasurer of Darien UMC, tells me that the the TSC (Taxpayer Service ...

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