Q&A: Church Treasurer Slow to Issue Forms

Can I file taxes without a W-2?

I am a full time minister. I have a work agreement with the church that covers my parsonage allowance and professional expenses. Every year it is like “pulling teeth” to get a W-2 from our church treasurer. My W-2 doesn’t get to me until as close to April 15th as you can get. This year I mentioned it in the business meeting and I was told I could file for an extension and file late! How can I go about resolving the problem? Can I file without the W-2?

I have not run into an issue with an organization not sending a W-2. If the W-2 form is not mailed by January 31, the church is out of compliance with the IRS requirements. The W-3 form and Copy A of all W-2 forms must be postmarked to the IRS by February 28. A penalty can be assessed by the IRS for every form that is filed late. The only formal recourse an employee would have is to report the employer to the IRS. Filing without a W-2 would in essence do this as well. I would suggest discussing this with the governing board or the finance committee so they understand the potential issues this could create for the church.

Vonna Laue has worked with ministries and churches for more than 20 years. Vonna was a partner with a national CPA firm serving not-for-profit entities through audit, review, tax, and advisory services. Most recently, she held the role of executive vice president for a Christian ministry that works to enhance trust in the church and ministry community.

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