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Church Law & Tax Report

September/October 2013
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Feature Article

The Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Rulings

The Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Rulings Subscriber access only

How these key decisions do—and don't—affect churches and clergy.


Does the New Obamacare Notice Requirement Apply to Churches?

Does the New Obamacare Notice Requirement Apply to Churches? Subscriber access only

Compliance applies to all employers covered under FLSA.
ECFA Sets Higher Standards for Compensation, Transactions

ECFA Sets Higher Standards for Compensation, Transactions Subscriber access only

Why all churches should consider following these steps for pay and related-party deals.
Mastering Minutes for Church Business Meetings

Mastering Minutes for Church Business Meetings Subscriber access only

Why this task can't continue to be an afterthought for leaders.

Notable Quote

Graduation in a church building violates First Amendment.
Recent Developments

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar

Church-related School Required to Pay Benefits to Unemployed Principal Subscriber access only

Pennsylvania court ruled that because school was separately incorporated from church, it was not exempt from paying unemployment benefits.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Church Not Liable for Molestation Subscriber access only

Church had no prior knowledge of molestation by nursery worker.
New Jersey

Federal Court Rules Invasion of Privacy Subscriber access only

Employer viewing employee's Facebook page without permission is sued by employee.
Freedom of Religion

"Off-campus" Religious Instruction Doesn't Violate First Amendment Subscriber access only

Federal court rules religious program giving academic credit not a violation of the prohibition of an establishment of religion.
Fiduciary Duty

Church Member Sues Pastor for Defamation Subscriber access only

Pastor sued for making widespread allegations that a church member was homosexual.
Church Membership

Federal Court Barred from Resolving Dismissed Member's Lawsuit  Subscriber access only

Ex-member unable to sue church leaders for misappropriation of church funds.
In Brief

In Brief

Key news recaps

Churches Should Note IRS Private Letter Ruling Policy Subscriber access only

Changes usually spur request for letter seeking exemption confirmation.
Tax Calendar

Tax Calendar

Important deadlines for churches and ministers

Important Tax Deadlines in November 2013

In addition to the regular semiweekly and monthly withholding requirements, church treasurers should note the following tax deadlines for next month.

October 31, 2013 Subscriber access only

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

October 30, 2013 Subscriber access only

Churches hiring their first nonminister employee between July 1 and September 30 may exempt themselves from the employer's share of FICA (Social Security) ...

October 15, 2013 Subscriber access only

Last day to file a 2012 federal income tax return for taxpayers who obtained an automatic six-month extension by filing a Form 4868 by April 15, 2013.

September 15, 2013 Subscriber access only

  • Ministers (who have not elected voluntary withholding) and self-employed workers must file their third quarterly estimated federal tax payment for 2013 by this date (a similar rule applies in many states to payments of estimated state taxes). Non-minister 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, and as a result 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 (use a new Form W-4 to make this request) that will be sufficient to cover self-employment taxes.

Monthly requirements, September/October 2013 Subscriber access only

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

Semiweekly requirements, September/October 2013 Subscriber access only

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

How Do We Handle an Application Answer that Changes? Subscriber access only

A volunteer candidate no longer mentions a pornography addiction.



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Managing the Legal Risks of Lay Counseling

Managing the Legal Risks of Lay Counseling Subscriber access only

Develop specific policies and procedures that protect your church, lay caregivers, and those who receive care.
Understanding Pastoral Liability

Understanding Pastoral Liability Subscriber access only

Know the situations in which a pastor is personally liable for wrongdoing.