Newsletter

misc 082 (2)November 2017

This Quarter’s Topics

2017 Tax Data Questionnaire

Filing Late

Health Reporting

Housing Allowance Ruling

HRA

 

2017 Tax Data Questionnaire
Our 2017 booklet and tax data questionnaire are now available on our website at:
http://ssfoundation.net/pastors/the-booklet/
The hard copy of our booklet will be mailed the beginning of December.  As always, this is a bulk mailing and will not be forwarded so if you have a new address be sure to drop us an email at stewardship@ssfoundation.net.

Filing Late
The deadline for those filing for an extension of time to file has just passed.  It served as a reminder to us the importance of filing on time.  In addition to increasing your audit risk filing late can also cost you money.  One taxpayer could have saved almost $10,000 in taxes if he had his return prepared before April 15th because he still would have the option of making 2016 IRA contributions.

Health Reporting
The IRS has indicated that tax returns which do not show health insurance coverage information (either you had coverage, had an exemption or will pay the penalty for no coverage) “may be suspended pending the receipt of additional information and any refunds may be delayed.”  When filling out the tax data questionnaire for your 2017 tax return, please be sure to read and answer the health insurance questions carefully.

Housing Allowance Ruling
A judge of the Western District of Wisconsin U.S. District Court has declared the housing allowance unconstitutional.  This is not the first time something like this has happened and it probably won’t be the last.  Once again this is not something to worry about and there is no change to anything a church or pastor is currently doing.  We would anticipate that the housing allowance benefit will be upheld once the appeal process has run its course.

HRA
Churches should be offering tax free health insurance to their pastors.  This is once again something that can be easily accomplished using a HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement).  For more information on HRA’s see our website at:
http://ssfoundation.net/pastors?qa_faqs=health-reimbursement-arrangement-hra.
If the pastor obtains his health insurance through one of the online marketplaces, he will need to let the marketplace know about these reimbursements.

Sincerely in Christ,

James W. Rickard

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Attention: Tax Law is subject to interpretation. Please be advised that the material contained on this Web site is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. The Stewardship Services Foundation endeavors to update the information on this site on a regular basis, but cannot guarantee its accuracy at all times.