1. Increased penalties for information return failures. “Congress enacted legislation (H.R. 1295) in 2015 that increases the penalties for failure to file correct information returns (including Forms W-2 and 1099-MISC) with the IRS and failure to furnish correct information returns to workers. The new penalties, which take effect for forms required to be furnished after December 31, 2015, are as follows:
- a three-tier penalty: $50 per return (if a correct return is filed within 30 days after the due date), $100 per return (if a correct return is filed by August 1), and $250 per return (if a correct return is filed after August 1); and,
- in case of intentional disregard of filing requirement, a penalty of $500 per return or 10 percent of the total amount of items required to be reported correctly, whichever is larger”
(“Summary of Important Tax Changes,” by Richard R. Hammar, 2016 Church & Clergy Tax Guide). This is one of 72 new tax law developments affecting churches and clergy covered by Richard R. Hammar in the 2016 Church & Clergy Tax Guide. Order your copy today.
2. To lead well, lead yourself first. "How effectively can any of us lead others if our spirits are sagging, our courage is wavering, and our vision or commitment is weak? I read an article that created some disequilibrium for me. The author, Dee Hock, challenged leaders to calculate how much time and energy they invest in each of these directions—people beneath them, over them, peers, and leading themselves. ... His recommendation: 'We should invest 50 percent of our leadership amperage into the task of leading ourselves; and the remaining 50 percent should be divided into leading down, leading up, and leading laterally'" (“The Art of Self Leadership,” by Bill Hybels, LeadershipJournal.net).
3. When a boss misses expectations. “It is hard to tell someone that they have not met expectations, and it's especially difficult when that person is in a position of authority. … (W)e tend to stay silent. We worry about the potential repercussions of disagreeing. … Staying silent often has a negative impact on the individual and the church or ministry. … If you think that you need to speak up, here are four tips that can lead to a healthier conversation:
- Lay the foundation first. Difficult conversations always go better when they start from a foundation of trust that has been built over time. Ideally, you've also had an earlier discussion that gives you permission to speak up if you have a concern.
- Be discerning. Prayerfully discern if the issue is serious enough that it needs to be addressed.
- Show respect. Respect is shown in your words, your tone, and your body language.
- Stick to the facts. If you want the discussion to produce positive change, focus on the facts and your own experiences”
(“Speak UP,” by Mike Bonem, mikebonem.com).
4. Notable quote. “We aren’t just stewards of money, but of time. A church is known by its budget and its calendar. Review all church events to ensure they support the vision. Don’t be afraid to let go of good things in order to focus on your God thing” (“How to Lead Change in a Church,” by Rob Cizek, XPastor.org).
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