brown on green, A Regular column about finances
by David Brown
Put the Hammer Down on Taxes
Income tax questions are often directed to my office at this time of year, and answers are gladly provided. However, there are resources available for churches to help them properly report to the IRS, and help pastors file their tax returns.
Richard Hammer’s Church and Clergy Tax Guide will answer all your tax questions. It is published annually, so it is always up to date. The book is not available through bookstores but online. It is over 600 pages long and includes a helpful index to help you find what you need quickly.
The book spends the first several chapters dealing with how the pastor should file his income tax, addressing all the unique factors that determine a pastor’s tax liability. An entire chapter is
devoted to defining charitable contributions, which is helpful for everyone. The volume contains many pages on Social Security and retirement plans for the pastor, and two entire chapters are dedicated to the church’s reporting requirements, offering advice on how a church should conduct itself to remain a charitable entity.
The last chapter is filled with illustrations that show the pastor and church treasurer how the reporting should look on various tax forms. The book includes sample policies a church can adopt to make sure they have covered legal obligations and to protect themselves from lawsuits.
Richard Hammer is both an attorney and a CPA. He graduated from Harvard Law School and has written over 100 books. He serves as legal counsel to the Assembly of God denomination. No one in Christian circles is more qualified or recognized as an expert in church law. This book is highly recommended for any church or pastor who seeks guidance concerning law and taxes.
About the Writer: David Brown became director of the Free Will Baptist Foundation in 2007. Send your questions to David at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn how the Foundation can help you become a more effective giver, call 877-336-7575.