• Ministers and church leaders continue to be misled and confused by false information shared by a few self-proclaimed clergy tax “experts.” Here are three of the current scams. 1. The IRS requires that churches use a specific “chart of accounts.” The IRS has never required churches to use a specific “chart of accounts” in their accounting systems. We do not believe that the IRS will ever do so. 2. The IRS no longer will accept canceled checks as evidence of charitable contributions. Nothing could be further from the truth. The income tax regulations specifically permit the use of canceled checks as evidence of charitable contributions. 3. Churches must file annual “1097 forms” with the IRS beginning next year. The “1097 forms” allegedly report the social security numbers of all contributors. Again, this information is completely false. There is no such thing as a “1097 form.” In some cases, false information is shared innocently by persons who are simply uninformed. But in other cases we suspect that the false information is communicated in order to frighten church leaders into attending seminars and purchasing questionable (and expensive) accounting and consulting services that will help them “comply” with the “new requirements.” Please assist us in sharing this important information with other churches and clergy.
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