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Continuing education for ministry leaders
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Weekly Lessons, created and written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA, give you a basic legal overview of essential topics based on staff or volunteer positions within a church.

Previous Lessons

Week of September 29

Lunch Expenses

Week of October 6

Entertainment Expenses

This Week's LessonWeek of September 22

"De Minimis" Fringe Benefits

Introduction

Our lesson this week examines the topic of "De Minimis" Fringe Benefits. The Executive Summary provides a concise review of the key points. Before we get started, test your knowledge by completing the following quiz.

A church allows its employees to use their office computers for personal purposes during their lunch break and during nonworking hours, and also allows them to make local calls using the church's telephones. Does the church need to value these benefits and report them as taxable income to the employees?

Weekly Quiz

Instructions Click on the correct answer for each of the following questions.

Executive Summary

Churches frequently provide employees with benefits whose value is so minimal that it would be impractical to account for it. Such benefits include such items as occasional use of employer computers or telephones for personal use, or an occasional meal. The tax code calls these benefits "de minimis" fringe benefits, and specifies that employers are not required to value them and report them as additional taxable income to its employees. In this week's lesson, we look at de minimis fringe benefits.

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