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Useful Resources

Useful Resources

NYS Non-profit law changes:  New York has made major changes to the non-profit corporation law.  One of the provisions applicable to most churches is the requirement to have a written conflict of interest policy.  Here is a summary of the major provisions.

NEW IRS Form.  Last year, the Treasury Department issued Treasury Decision 9617, requiring each organization with an EIN to update the name of its Responsible Party by filing IRS Form 8822-B. Effective January 1, 2014 organizations have sixty (60) days to comply with the new requirement to update Responsible Parties. Here is a fuller explanation from the ELCA and a reference to the new form

Cash Reserves — should we have reserves and how much?  This is a useful article from a contributor to Church Law and Tax Report.

Are seasonal offerings for staff bonuses taxable?  Richard Hammar provides the answer.

Loans to Pastors – what are the implications for a church?

Embezzlement in churches is a reality.  Here is a brief article from Church Law and Tax Report

Inspection of Congregation Records — can a member require access to congregation records?

Do we have to register with New York State Charities Bureau?  Here is a FAQ about that topic.

Parsonage or Housing Allowance?  Here are two resources to help your consideration, one from Christianity Today and one from the Church of the Nazarene.

Safety and Security  — Here is how St. Peter’s Business Services takes care of  your data. Congregations should develop their own strategies because data loss from computer systems is inevitable without a sound backup strategy.

How-to Documents

A white paper (pdf) to explain why it is important that the treasurer understand the government and accounting rules.

A brief explanation of accounting requirements for churches 

Accounting Basics – an introduction to non-profit accounting reports and processes for governing boards.

Contingency Planning — how much should we have in reserve for emergencies?  This ELCA article provides helpful guidance.

Guidelines for Accepting Restricted Gifts

Refunds of Donation Request — how should you respond? Here also is an article from the ELCA on amending restrictions on gifts.

How to account for donor-restricted funds.

How to handle reimbursable expenses:  a FAQ from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a primer from the IRS

Employment Insurance requirements for churches

Leasing your church space — what should you consider?

New York State New-Hire Reporting Requirements

See the ELCA web site ( and navigate to the Office of the Treasurer, Finance for Congregations page for useful documents.

IRS Resources

New York State requires Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Federal Pub 1828  Tax Guide for Congregations