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Holiday Pushes Back Due Date for Taxes
Federal tax-filers get a few extra days.

Haven't started your federal taxes yet?

As February fast draws to a close, you may be encouraged to know that you get an extra three days to work on 2010 filings. From this morning's Richard Hammar's Essential Reminders:

"Taxpayers will have until Monday, April 18 to file their ...
Online Resource for Church Law and Tax Help
ChurchLawAndTax.com offers leaders comprehensive info

We're pleased to announce the launch of ChurchLawAndTax.com (formerly ChurchLawToday.com).

We've given the site a fresh, new look to serve church leaders like you even better. You'll find an updated Archives of the Church Law & Tax Report newsletter through 2010 (that's nearly ...

Help for Pastors During Tax Season
Upcoming resources to help wade through tax laws that affect clergy.

The "The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010," passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in mid-December, triggered a domino-like effect of changes for tax-filers–so much so that even the Internal Revenue Service delayed its ...

Ten Steps to Tax Reporting
A new, free PDF offers helpful payroll tax reminders for churches.

Looking for a helpful–and easy–way to remember federal payroll tax reporting requirements as a church? Check out this handy, printer-friendly PDF we've prepared titled "Ten Steps to Tax Reporting."

Here's a sneak peek:

10) Complete Forms 1099-MISC and 1096. Must be issued to any ...

Small Groups, Confidentiality, and the Law
What are the legal parameters for confidentiality in church small groups?

One of the benefits of working on the team at Christianity Today International is that I sometimes get "insider information" from some of the other resources in our corporate family.

For example, the following question was recently sent to the editors over at TheYourChurchBlog.com: ...

National Commission to Examine Church Financial Practices
ECFA will lead independent inquiry at Sen. Grassley’s request

Editor's Update (12/8/11): The Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations is now taking public comments on the various issues it is studying.

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Editor's Update (4/27/2011): The ECFA has announced the initial members of ...

Deadline Nears for Pastors' Housing Designations
Act now so that pastors can receive this tax benefit in 2011.

Churches must designate a portion of each minister's compensation as a housing allowance by December 31 in order for ministers who own or rent their homes to receive the full benefit of a housing allowance exclusion for calendar year 2011. The designation should be adopted during ...

How One Church Responded to a Sex Offender
An open-door policy still comes with its costs.

Last month, we highlighted Sex Offenders in the Pews, Marian Liautaud's article in Christianity Today that is based largely on research we conducted earlier this year. This week, Leadership Journal, another one of our sister publications, published "Sex Offenders: Coming to ...

Endorsing Political Candidates from the Pulpit
A new LifeWay survey shows pastors strongly oppose endorsements.

A majority of pastors believe churches should not publicly endorse political candidates, a new LifeWay Research survey shows.

Phone interviews conducted randomly in early October with 1,000 church pastors, ministers, and priests revealed 70 percent strongly disagreed and 14 ...

30% Discount on Church Law, Tax, and Finance Resources
Sale in honor of church administration day on October 21.

Our friends at the National Association for Church Business Administration have designated Thursday, October 21, as "National Church Administration Day." As NACBA explains it on its website:

"The idea behind National Church Administration Day is for seasoned church leaders to ...
Medical Allowances and Health Savings Accounts
Can churches legally designate medical allowances for pastor health plans?

Question: We are entertaining the idea of changing our health care coverage to a HSA (Health Saving Account)-compatible policy. Presently our three pastors receive a designated amount of medical allowances each year to help them cover the costs of out-of-pocket moneies that ...

Case Threatens Pastor Housing Allowances
How a California court may alter a long-standing ministry benefit.

Earlier this month, we covered eight federal issues that local churches should watch closely during the remainder of 2010 and into 2011, according to recent remarks from Dan Busby, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Busby, one of our editorial ...

Sex Offenders in the Pew

In April 2010, Christianity Today International (CTI) conducted a national survey of 2,864 people, including ordained church leaders (15 percent), church staff (20 percent), lay members (43 percent), and other active Christians (22 percent). Respondents were drawn from the readers ...

Why Church Leaders Should Take the Risk of Embezzlement Seriously
7 reasons to protect against fraud.

As hard as it may be to believe, churches are not immune from embezzlement. In fact, the widespread belief among church leaders that such a crime "could never happen in a church" makes churches an easy target. Economic downturns make the risk even greater. Here are seven reasons ...

People You Don't Want in Your Ministry
How pedophiles exploit churches--and what to do about it.

Like a triple espresso on an empty stomach, some news stories make my hands shake.

In our paper yesterday, I read about a Boy Scout camp director recently arrested for possession of child pornography. The FBI raided the camp to confiscate his computers. This man also worked at ...

Healthy Board, Healthy Church
Every church needs a strong board, united in purpose.

Many churches are afflicted by "dragons," well-meaning saints who, one way or another, undermine the ministry and sap the vitality from a congregation. To make a church healthy, the place to start is by building a healthy board. Cohesiveness among the spiritual leaders of the ...

Reminder: FCC Mic Deadline Hits This Saturday
Changes may prove costly for churches, as will non-compliance

Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission set a deadline of June 12–this Saturday–for organizations to stop using any wireless systems, including microphones, currently operating in the 700 megahertz (MHz) frequency.

The restriction includes churches.

Your Church ...

Top 10 Things Churches Need to Know About Zoning

Editor's note: Church law expert Richard Hammar says zoning is one of the Top 5 issues to land a church in court. To learn more about church property and zoning laws, check out Richard's Volume 2 of "Pastor, Church, & Law, 4th Edition."

Below are 10 things your church should ...

What Churches Should Know about IRS Form 990-N

(Editor's Note: Since posting this on May 14, the IRS has issued a statement urging small nonprofits to still file, even though the May 17 deadline has passed).

We recently fielded a question from a reader regarding the Internal Revenue Service's Form 990-N.

Tax-exempt organizations ...

8 Resources for Peacefully Resolving Church Conflicts

In our ongoing conversations with church leaders, as well as our collaboration with colleagues at Leadership Journal, Out of Ur, and BuildingChurchLeaders.com, we know conflict remains one of the biggest detractors from a healthy church office environment. So we're keenly aware ...

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Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability

Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability Member access only

What these documents do—and don't do—based on statutes and court decisions made nationwide.
Planning a Church Building Project

Planning a Church Building Project Member access only

Learn about zoning laws, property sales, church construction, financing, and more.