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Tax CalendarTax Calendar

Important deadlines for churches and ministers
January 31, 2017
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  • Churches having nonminister employees (or one or more ministers who report their federal income taxes as employees and who have elected voluntary withholding) must file an employer’s quarterly federal tax return (Form 941) for the fourth calendar quarter of 2016 by this date. Enclose a check in the total amount of all withheld taxes (withheld income taxes, withheld Social Security, and Medicare taxes paid by the employee, and the employer’s share of Social Security and Medicare taxes) if less than $2,500 on December 31, 2016.
  • Ministers who use the estimated tax procedure for prepaying their federal taxes are not required to make the fourth quarterly tax payment for 2016 by January 15, 2017, if they file their 2016 federal income tax return (Form 1040) by this date and pay the rest of the tax they owe.
  • Churches must furnish Copies B, C, and 2 of Form W-2 (“wage and tax statement”) to each person who was your employee during 2016 by this date. This requirement applies to clergy who report their federal income taxes as employees rather than as self-employed, even though they are not subject to mandatory income tax (or FICA) withholding. Nonminister church employees must also receive a W-2.
  • Churches must send Copy A of Forms W-2, along with Form W-3, to the Social Security Administration by this date.
  • Churches must issue Copy B of a 2016 1099-MISC form (“statement for recipient of miscellaneous income”) to any self-employed person to whom the church paid nonemployee compensation of $600 or more in 2016 by this date. This form (rather than a W-2) should be provided to clergy who report their federal income taxes as self-employed, since the Tax Court and the IRS have both ruled that a worker who receives a W-2 rather than a 1099-MISC is presumed to be an employee rather than self-employed. Other persons to whom churches may be required to issue a 1099-MISC include evangelists, guest speakers, contractors, and part-time custodians.
  • Churches must send Copy A of Forms 1099-MISC, along with Form 1096, to the IRS by this date if nonemployee compensation is reported in box 7.
  • Churches must distribute a 2016 1099-INT form to any person to whom it paid $600 or more in interest during 2016 by this date (a $10 rule applies in some cases).

Note: If a date listed for filing a return or making a tax payment falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday (either national or statewide in a state where the return is required to be filed), the return or tax payment is due on the following business day.

Note: You must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal employment tax deposits. This is generally done using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, a free service provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury. If you don't wish to use EFTPS, you can arrange for your tax professional, financial institution, or payroll service to make deposits on your behalf. Failure to make a timely deposit may subject you to a 10-percent penalty.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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2017 Church & Clergy Tax Guide

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