Attorneys Matt Branaugh and Rich Hammar hopped on camera to tackle seven common tax errors churches and church leaders make.
In this 20-minute companion to “Top 10 Tax Developments for Churches and Clergy in 2024,” Branaugh and Hammar call on case law, IRS guidance, and practical experience as they discuss why these errors are so common. They also touch on why they carry such large implications for church boards, pastors, and lay leaders. And they share a few helpful hints on correcting, if not avoiding, these errors in the future.
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By the way, the seven common tax errors are:
- Failing to Set a Housing Allowance
- Not Having an Accountable Reimbursement Plan
- Not Treating Clergy as “Self-Employed” for Social Security
- Trying to Avoid Paying FICA
- Treating Non-Ministers as Ministers for Tax Purposes
- Ignoring the Tax Implications of “Love Gifts”
- Ignoring the Tax Implications of “Loans”
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And if you’re wondering about how costly tax errors can truly be, review this 2023 legal development from Rich Hammar. It details the case of how a clerical error cost an Oregon church its tax exemption.