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Church Law & Tax Report

May/June 2013
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Feature Article

Clergy, Counseling, and Criminal Liability

Clergy, Counseling, and Criminal Liability Member access only

What churches must know about pastoral liability for sexual misconduct.


The Top Five Reasons Churches Go to Court

The Top Five Reasons Churches Go to Court Member access only

Analysis of 12,000 cases reveals the leading legal risks for ministries.
Churches and Released Time Programs for Public Schools

Churches and Released Time Programs for Public Schools Member access only

Steps for developing and maintaining a constitutionally sound effort.
Recent Developments

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Church Not Responsible for Sexual Abuse of a Minor Member access only

Assailant fully to blame for disregarded church's safety policies.
Employment Practices

There Is No Legal Duty to Perform Background Checks on Every Applicant  Member access only

Specifically when the position for hire is low-risk.

Pennsylvania Teacher Granted Unemployment Member access only

Court rules that teacher terminated from church-affiliated school is eligible for unemployment benefits.
In Brief

In Brief

Key news recaps

IRS Eases Classification Program Requirements Member access only

New I-9 forms also issued; IRS releases 403(b) "Fix-It" Guides
Tax Calendar

Tax Calendar

Important deadlines for churches and ministers

June 30, 2013 Member access only

• Now is a good time to review the 2013 housing or parsonage allowances designated for all ministers on staff. If an allowance designated for 2013 ...

June 15, 2013 Member access only

  • Ministers (who have not elected voluntary withholding) and self-employed workers must file their second quarterly estimated federal tax payment for 2013 by this date. A similar rule applies in many states to payments of estimated state taxes. Nonminister employees of churches that filed a timely Form 8274 (waiving the church's obligation to withhold and pay FICA taxes) are treated as self-employed for Social Security purposes, and accordingly are subject to the estimated tax deadlines with respect to their self-employment (Social Security) taxes unless they ask their employing church to withhold an additional amount of income taxes from each paycheck that will be sufficient to cover self-employment taxes (use a new Form W-4 to make this request).

May 15, 2013

  • An annual information return (Form 990) for tax-exempt organizations is due by this date for 2012. Form 990 summarizes revenue, expenses, and services rendered. Organizations exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code must report additional information on Schedule A. Churches, conventions and associations of churches, "integrated auxiliaries" of churches, and church-affiliated elementary and secondary schools are among the organizations that are exempt from this reporting requirement. Organizations not exempt from this reporting requirement must file the Form 990 if they normally have annual gross receipts of $25,000 or more.

May 10, 2013

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

Monthly requirements, May/June 2013

• If your church or organization reported withheld taxes of $50,000 or less during the most recent lookback period (for 2013 the lookback period ...

Semiweekly Requirements, May/June 2013

• If your church or organization reported withheld taxes of more than $50,000 during the most recent lookback period (for 2013 the lookback period ...



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Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity

Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity Member access only

Richard Hammar combines research and analysis to take you through a step-by-step process regarding public accommodations laws.
Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy

Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy Member access only

Church leaders and boards can take relatively simple, yet effective steps to reduce the likelihood of child sexual abuse.