Continuing education for ministry leaders
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 June 16

Completing Form W-2

Week of June 9

Year-End Checklist

This Week's LessonWeek of June 23

W-4 Forms


This week we turn our attention to W-4 Forms. Start by completing the following quiz. Then review the Executive Summary for the key points on this topic, or read the Weekly Lesson for a complete discussion of this topic.

A church elects a new treasurer. The treasurer is not sure if she is required to withhold income taxes or FICA taxes from the wages of ministers and lay employees, and if withholding is required, how to compute the correct amount to withhold. What steps should she take to ensure that she is withholding the correct amount of taxes?

Weekly Quiz

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

Executive Summary

Form W-4 is used by employees to claim withholding allowances. A church will need to know how many withholding allowances each non-minister employee claims in order to withhold the correct amount of federal income tax. A withholding allowance lowers the amount of tax that will be withheld from an employee's wages. Allowances generally are available for the employee, the employee's spouse, each of the employee's dependents, and in some cases for itemized deductions. By the end of the year, have all employees review their W-4 form, and suggest that they consider submitting a new form if their circumstances have changed. This will ensure accurate withholding. This week's lesson looks at Form W-4.

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