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Church Law & Tax Report

January/February 2015
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Feature Article

10 Key Tax Law Updates for 2015

10 Key Tax Law Updates for 2015 Subscriber access only

What churches should note about housing allowances, health care, and more.

Articles

Recent Developments

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Texas

Exemption of Unemployment Services Doesn't Violate First Amendment Subscriber access only

Terminated employee unable to sue church for lack of unemployment benefits.
New York
Taxation - Church Property

New York Court Rules Tax Exemption in Favor of Catholic Diocese Subscriber access only

Closed churches’ occasional use for religious purposes is enough to exempt them from property taxes.
Georgia
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Church Could be Liable for Negligent Hiring Subscriber access only

Court rules church hiring youth pastor without checking reference could be liable for workers' molestation of a minor.
Illinois
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Former Scout Leader Sued for Molestation Subscriber access only

Court rules scouting organization is not responsible.
Louisiana
Privacy

Church Deacon Secretly Records Teenage Girls in His Bathroom Subscriber access only

A 10-year sentence at hard labor stands up in court.
Federal
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Aurora Movie Theater Could Be Liable for 2012 Shooting Subscriber access only

Federal court rules armed assailant’s shooting could have been prevented if security measures were taken.
Federal
Insurance

Pollution Exclusion in Insurance Policy Prevents Lawsuit Subscriber access only

Pastor killed by carbon monoxide in church parsonage; wife is unable to sue for damages.
Louisiana
Defamation

Church Board Guilty of Defamation Subscriber access only

Pastor able to sue board for false accusations.
Kentucky
Employment Practices

Seminary Professor Unable to Sue for Racial Discrimination Subscriber access only

Ministerial exemption keeps court from getting involved in discrimination claims.
Texas
Employment Practices

Ministerial Exemption Prevents Court from Resolving Lawsuit Subscriber access only

Texas court claims they’re unable to resolve wrongful dismissal claim.
Tax Calendar

Tax Calendar

Important deadlines for churches and ministers

January 1, 2015

• Employees and employers each pay Social Security and Medicare taxes equal to 7.65 percent of an employee's wages. The tax rate does not change ...

January 15, 2015

• Ministers (who have not elected voluntary withholding) and self-employed workers must file their fourth quarterly estimated federal tax payment ...

January 30, 2015

• Churches hiring their first nonminister employee between October 1 and December 31, 2014, may exempt themselves from the employer's share of Social ...

January 31, 2015

• Churches having nonminister employees (or one or more ministers who report their federal income taxes as employees and who have elected voluntary ...

February 10, 2015

Churches having nonminister employees (or one or more ministers who report their federal income taxes as employees and who have elected voluntary withholding) ...

Semiweekly requirements, January/February 2015

• If your church or organization reported withheld taxes of more than $50,000 during the most recent lookback period (for 2015 the lookback period ...

Monthly requirements, January/February 2015

• If your church or organization reported withheld taxes of $50,000 or less during the most recent lookback period (for 2015 the lookback period ...

Are We Required to Perform or Host Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies? Subscriber access only

A look at the rights and protections afforded to clergy and churches.
Protecting Your Church from Crime and Violence

Protecting Your Church from Crime and Violence

Assess the security of your church and learn how to prevent crime.
Essential Guide to Law and Tax for New Ministers

Essential Guide to Law and Tax for New Ministers

Essential knowledge to ensure legal and financial clarity and integrity in ministry.