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A quick review of the most important information in this edition

November/December 2017

One in five pastors do not save for retirement, revealed a National Association of Evangelicals survey of more than 4,000 pastors. The survey also discovered that pastors with savings still aren't prepared for retirement. With those sobering statistics in mind, Church Law & Tax Report offers a special retirement package. First, attorney Richard R. Hammar covers the most popular retirement plans available to pastors, detailing the financial- and tax-related implications of each. Next, attorney Lisa A. Runquist addresses various pitfalls of shortsighted retirement planning.

After conducting a two-year audit of a church volunteer and consultant, the Internal Revenue Service concluded that the individual being audited had understated her income tax liability by $55,000. The Tax Court affirmed the IRS finding. This ruling and its implications for churches are summarized in a Secondary Article.

A Kentucky court ruled that a minor who was injured while participating in a church's summer camp program was not barred from suing the church by a release form signed by her mother.

A federal court in Pennsylvania dismissed a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a church employee on the ground that the offenses she experienced were not sufficiently severe or pervasive.

A member of a church made a substantial contribution for the erection of a stained glass window in the church's sanctuary. A board member insisted that recognizing the donation with a plaque will preclude a charitable contribution deduction. See Q&A: "Will a plaque recognizing a donor's contribution prohibit a tax deduction?"

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that a "breakaway" diocese can't keep properties worth $500 million. But in a split decision by the court, the new diocese was allowed to keep the Diocese of South Carolina's name, marks, and seals.

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