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The Top 10 Church Law & Tax Articles of 2016
The Top 10 Church Law & Tax Articles of 2016
The headlines and trends that most interested church leaders this year.
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The list of the most popular articles on ChurchLawAndTax.com in 2016 shows the variety of tax, legal, financial, and risk management matters that church leaders often encounter in their work. As with most years, key tax developments featured heavily in users top-viewed articles. Unique to this year, however, were pieces relating to the implementation of the FLSA’s new overtime regulations (now-postponed as of December 2016) and cultural topics affecting churches, including transgender bathroom access and gun laws and security.

This list is based on unique page views logged in 2016 for pieces published during the year. Each article is highlighted below, in order of most uniquely viewed piece followed by the second-most uniquely viewed piece, and so on. Each item in the list also includes the article’s title, author, and a brief description. At the end, we’ve included bonus 2016 content that also received significant pageviews throughout the year.

The List

  1. 2016 Tax Guide Updates from Congress (ChurchLawAndTax.com)
    By Richard R. Hammar

    Congress passes massive spending, tax bills that churches need to be aware of.
  2. Ten Tax Developments Your Church Must Know (Church Law & Tax Report)
    By Richard R. Hammar

    How churches and clergy are affected by 2016 tax guidelines for 2015 tax filings—and beyond.
  3. How the New Overtime Rules Will Affect Churches (Church Law & Tax Report)
    By Richard R. Hammar

    The updated regulations would change salary thresholds for millions of workers, including at churches.
    *Note: As of December 2016, the new overtime rules have been blocked from going into effect. Read more here.
  4. The Tax Code's ‘No Inurement’ Limitation (Church Law & Tax Report)
    By Richard R. Hammar

    Failure to meet certain conditions in the tax code prohibiting a church’s earnings from “inuring” to the personal benefit of an insider can jeopardize a church’s tax-exempt status.
  5. Common Church Finance Department Mistakes and How to Remedy Them (ChurchLawAndTax.com)
    By Vonna Laue

    Seven ways church finances can go awry and the guidance needed to keep them on track.
  6. What a Successful Church Accounting Department Manager Looks Like (ChurchLawAndTax.com)
    By Vonna Laue

    Here are the traits needed for sound, reliable leadership of the church’s finances.
  7. Reduce Your Church Expenses (Church Finance Today)
    By Michael E. Batts

    Detailing how to strengthen your bottom line and eliminate activities that miss your mission.
  8. Responding to the Transgender Bathroom Access Controversy (ChurchLawAndTax.com)
    By Richard R. Hammar

    How church leaders can navigate this still-developing legal issue.
  9. Q&A: Gun Laws and Church Security (ChurchLawAndTax.com)
    By Frank Sommerville

    How churches can know the laws in place and make a plan to protect their congregations.
  10. The Top 5 Reasons Religious Organizations Went to Court in 2015 (ChurchLawAndTax.com)
    By Richard R. Hammar

    Has your church addressed these common legal liabilities and risk management concerns?

Bonus Material

Though technically not “articles,” a number of other types of content we published in 2016 (e.g., infographics, information pages, and so on) received huge numbers in traffic. Those pieces, based on highest traffic, include:

  • Our online course in church administration, offered through North Park University for graduate-level credit.
  • Our “31 for 31” article that highlights the breadth of Church Law & Tax’s coverage through unlocking 31 articles in 31 days. (Note: the content is still available, but it has been re-locked for those without a subscription that includes ChurchLawAndTax.com.)
  • Our Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) classification tree infographic for the currently postponed new overtime regulations.
  • Our “What the New Overtime Rules Mean for Churches” video. (Note: As of November 2016, these rules have been barred from taking effect on their intended start date of December 1, 2016.)
  • The Top 5 Reasons Religious Organizations Went to Court in 2015” infographic.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

December 15, 2016


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