Pulpit & Pew Finances - Consulting faith ministry of Cornerstone Baptist Church
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Greetings near end of year 2016

I would like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas to the many who have allowed me to be of help to you over the past seven years.  I count it a privilege from God to be able to offer this ministry of helps to small/medium sized independent Baptist churches.

I am currently booking meetings for the first half of 2017.  If you would like, or need me to be of service to you, please contact me to set up time in my schedule.  If any would be able to consider setting up a monthly support arrangement, I would greatly appreciate it, and would be a continual resource to you in financial areas of your ministry, and even a conduit for legal questions that I can direct to legal services I work with for the benefit of churches.

NEW TAX ON HEALTHCARE

IMPORTANT TAX ITEM FOR PASTORS TO KNOW...
For the entire year of 2016, any amounts that your church is able to pay to help with your health needs - insurance premiums, or payments to shared medical plans, or medicines or health care costs reimbursed to you - is now TAXABLE to you in that year.  This is a change from many years before, due to ACA and IRS changes affecting small businesses and CHURCHES.

And if you are in Social Security, the total tax rate for you could be up to 25%. So, for example, if the church has paid $10,000 of health benefits for you, you are now facing up to a $2,500 tax bill that will be new for you.

Mostly personal note

On a mostly personal note, just updating those who check on my blog about a couple personal items.  My wife, Kay, is finishing up in March the year-long surgery, chemo, radiation and more for cancer.  The latest report from tests is that she seems to be clear of cancer going forward.  We praise the Lord for His directions through this entire time and the working in her physically.

Second note - I had some partial knee replacement surgery in early January, and have completed the allowed therapy to restore range of motion.

JULY 1, 2015 CHANGE

The ACA (Affordable Care Act)(Obamacare) has another impact on Pastors in 2015.
Many of you have previously (for 2014) had to go to the government exchange to get some insurance coverage, quite often subsidized by the government, based upon the income estimate you used when signing up for it.  As a result, many have coverage (not necessarily care) for less that $200/month, and probably have a fairly high out-of-pocket deductible.  Before telling you what is new as of July 1, 2015, let me comment here on some things to be aware of related  to this 2014 procedure that many entered into to avoid paying penalties on your tax returns.

ACA on 2014 tax returns

Researching the proposed 2014 tax form 1040 [still in draft form at this date], I find that the reporting for the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare on your tax filing will likely involve answering questions on line 46 and line 61, and any related forms that are used for these lines.  Whether you file your own taxes, or have a preparer do it, most people will have to address matters related to these lines.

Whether this all comes together well is yet unknown.  And if you have employer-provided coverage, there will likely be little to no effect on this year's taxes since the employer mandate has not kicked into effect yet.

Call for Prudent Consideration

I shared the following with those at a legal conference a year ago...and it still applies.

Five years in this ministry to churches, I now believe that nearly any and every Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, Camp, or Missions Agency should take advantage of such services.  There are other throughout the country that do similar services that I offer; so I am not necessarily soliciting for call to me, although I do not discourage that.  Self-promotion is not the goal in this blog today.

Being a watchful & careful steward

If you are the Pastor or the financial person for your independent Baptist church, I encourage you to learn a little about accounting and financial reports from on-line seminars and/or some community college courses.  As the Biblical steward of the funds given by Christians for the work of Christ in your community and for world missions, you should desire to know basic accounting and tax issues that affect your church.

Another step of stewardship would be a periodic review of your systems and procedures used for the accounting processes of the church.

Something New!

I am in the process of setting up a blog page.  I plan to share comments on current issues, as well as some best procedure memos for financial aspects in the accounting management of a church.  Be back again soon...
 
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Due Dates changed for some forms
Greetings near end of year 2016
NEW TAX ON HEALTHCARE
Mostly personal note
Year-end 2015

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