During this time each year Pastors begin gathering their tax information for the upcoming dreaded, personal tax returns. Pastors have many tax benefits which are not afforded the average tax payer. One of those benefits is the mileage deduction which allows the minister deductions for using his or her automobile for ministry related purposes.
Although this is a great avenue to lower the Minister’s tax liability, many Ministers and Churches do not properly document, claim, or reimburse for this deduction, which may result in serious issues for the Minister or the Church.
Why You Need Chitwood and Chitwood
Pastors and Church Leaders, do not attempt this audit on your own. The IRS knows 100 Tricky Questions to ask you, and trust me you do not know the right answers. WE DO!
Pastors and Church Leaders should spend their energy and focus on winning the lost to Christ and ministering to the sick and needy – not trying to do Church books or dealing with complex tax issues!
You should call and retain us immediately – the IRS is not playing games! Call our office at 800-344-0076 and let us put your mind at ease or visit our website, www.cmtc.org and register for an upcoming Church Management Tax Conference in a city near you.
DON’T DELAY – DO IT NOW!
By Dr. Michael Chitwood
Bible Colleges and Seminaries are designed to teach Pastors Theology, Eschatology, Sermon Preparation and Delivery, etc. They are not structured to teach future Pastors the “mechanics” of day-to-day Church operation and management.
Most seasoned Pastors have it figured out, but those new to the Pastorate, as yet, have no clue as to the daily requirements of administrative functions that transpire Monday through Friday. These young Pastors have zeal and passion to fulfill God’s call on their lives, but when hit with the “reality” of ministry, many leave ministry, or at the least, feel as if they have landed in something for which they did not bargain.
This is why at our Annual World Conference we open our International Congress of Churches and Ministers (ICCM) Annual Board Meeting to any who wish to attend. This allows those new to ministry the opportunity to observe the proper way to conduct the one meeting that every Church must have – “The Board Meeting.”
Set an Agenda and Structure the Board Meeting
This keeps the meeting focused and avoids any trivial conversation/discussion. Stick to topic and avoid letting someone other than yourself control the “flow.”
- Adequately announce the date, time, and location
As a general rule, announce it a minimum of two weeks prior. This allows Board Members ample time to prepare and possibly add topics of discussion to the agenda.
- Take attendance
This will serve as proof that a quorum was present in the event the meeting may be legally scrutinized later.
- Take ample notes
Recording of every spoken word is not necessary. However, ensure that whoever is the acting Secretary for the meeting, be capable of taking copious notes that can later be transcribed into Board Meeting Minutes.
Make sure that each item on the agenda is allowed time for proper discussion, motions made and seconded, followed by a yes or no vote and whether or not the motion passed.
- Approval of the Minutes
Board Meeting Minutes are not approved until the next Board Meeting. The first topic on the agenda should be a vote on previous Minutes, and Signatures obtained on the approval.
Board Meeting Minutes
Do not wrongly assume that as a Christian Church, you are immune from lawsuits. Church Members sue frivolously and often. In a lawsuit, the opposing attorney will seek to prove your Church or Ministry was not properly established or is not operating as a corporation. It is the Board Meeting Minutes that prove your incorporated Church is in fact operating and governing itself in a corporate manner.
We Can Help
We can help get your Church and Ministry on a proper foundation. For more information, or to register for one of our conferences, please call 800-344-0076 or visit us at www.cmtc.org. Do not delay. Every moment you procrastinate is a moment your Church or Ministry is susceptible to trouble you do not need.
By Dr. Michael Chitwood
Technology is a great stride in our social, psychological, and economic advancement. Within a few short years most shopping will be done via the internet rather than fighting the crowds in a shopping mall. We have even advanced to the point where we can order our groceries online and have them delivered to our front door.
As with other entities, Churches and Ministries must become technologically advanced if they desire to be effective in this 21st Century. All successful Churches and Ministries have at least one website, while some have a website for every facet of their ministry.
Advantages of Technology for the Church
With a website a Church can broadcast their services around the world without incurring expensive production and TV airtime costs. With the stroke of a key on a computer, the Church can e-mail blast all members or potential members of things like inclement weather closings, spur-of-the-moment meetings, and much more.
All of these things are great and have vastly improved the ability of a Church or Ministry to successfully market itself to those unfamiliar with their place of worship. But, for every pro there is a con and Church websites are no different.
Pitfalls of A Church Website
Churches are nonprofit and therefore there are certain Internal Revenue regulations to which a Church or Ministry must adhere if they want to remain a legal nonprofit and protect any tax benefits to which they are entitled.
Too often Churches and Ministries rely upon the misnomer of “Separation of Church and State” to believe the IRS will not intrude upon their local Church. A Church is not exempt from IRS review. The IRS is continually looking at Churches and nonprofits for violations of the 501(c)(3) code as a means of invoking huge financial penalties that would add dollars to the US Treasury. Until now, they were somewhat limited due to a lack of agents required to provide the necessary oversight. This has changed.
The IRS has what I refer to as “website police” (website inspectors) who have the ability to view Church and Ministry websites without leaving their offices in Washington, D.C. If your Church or Ministry has anything on that website that is not allowed within the 501(c)(3) guidelines (just because it is an event happening at your Church doesn’t mean it is legal to be on the website), the IRS will revoke any tax-exempt status which you may currently enjoy (especially for the receipt of tax deductible donations), and possibly invoke fines, penalties, and in some cases, criminal charges.
Why You Need Us NOW!
Chitwood & Chitwood has provided proper oversight for Churches, Ministries, and nonprofits for more than 79 years. We Are The Best! Our team of legal, accounting, and IT experts will perform an audit for your Church or Ministry website to ensure there is nothing on it that would be detrimental to you. Once we finish we guarantee your website would survive an IRS inspection (provided you followed our instructions and maintained your site accordingly).
Your Church, Church Leaders, and Pastors cannot afford to become a victim to this latest IRS tool. It is imperative that you call us today at 800-225-5849 and ask to speak with Mr. Tim Haney to begin your website review.
In this upcoming year it is vital for every Pastor and Church Leader to attend the nearest Church Management and Tax Conference. At these conferences we don’t rely on scare tactics, but we will tell you the truth and you will be abreast of what is ongoing between the IRS and Churches. To see the upcoming schedule of conferences visit us at www.cmtc.org or call 800-344-0076. Time is of the essence.
By Dr. Michael Chitwood
Although we do not have a professional lobbyist in Washington, D.C. we work diligently with representatives, doing everything within our power, to ensure that there is a voice for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. With current court rulings in some “close-to-home” issues for Pastors, Chitwood & Chitwood are diligently fighting these decisions on behalf of Pastors and Churches all across the USA.
Judge Barbara Crabb of the District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin once again struck down the ministerial housing allowance as an unconstitutional preference for religion. This is currently pending an appeal to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. We will keep our Churches and Pastors abreast of future actions in this important Ministry matter.
In May of 2016, President Obama had issued an order requiring non-ecclesiastical, salaried employees to receive minimum compensation of $47,460.00 per year. We relentlessly saw this through to a satisfactory solution when a Federal Judge in Texas ruled it unconstitutional.
These are just two of the many areas that we took to task for Pastors, Ministers, and Churches across America.
A Friend You Can Count On
Just as Pastors have been called to preach the Gospel, win sinners to Christ, and be a Shepherd for the “flock,” we have been called to make sure that the job of the Pastor and Minister, and the function of the Church does not get bogged down with the minutiae that the world attempts to lay at the feet of the Church, which will keep Church and Pastor from fulfilling the Great Commission.
Friends are a unique bunch that comes in all types of packaging. There are the fair weather friends who are there for you during the good times. There are the friends that are “need-based” friends and are connected to you because of what you may do for them. As long as you can help them they are by your side. Then there are the real friends. These are friends who are not only with you during the good times, but also during the bad. This is Chitwood and Chitwwod. We have stood with more Pastors, Ministers, and Churches during financial and/or tax crises than any other Church Financial Firm in the USA. If you are our clients, we don’t lose. If you are not, but connect with us after the fact, we stay by your side through thick and thin, fighting diligently for your vindication (It is much easier and cheaper for us to keep the IRS from you than it is to get them off of you).
This is why we are unique in what we do! There are many copycats in America, but only one original. It is like an artist’s painting – he has the original from which many prints are made. The print may be okay, but it does not have the value of the original. In the art world only one person may own the original, while the rest settle for a copy. However, with Pastor, Minister, and Church finances, everyone can have the original – Chitwood and Chitwood. Why settle for a copy, when the original is at your fingertips?
As the New Year is ushered in, every Pastor and Minister should make the change they know they need to make for their ministry and their Church. Do not go through 2018 without us in your corner.
Call 800-344-0076 NOW to connect with the only Church and Clergy tax and financial specialists in America that have the accolades that have been awarded us. Our guarantee is that we will not leave you, but work above and beyond to make sure your ministry, your Church, and your personal finances remain in compliance and worry free.
By Dr. Michael Chitwood