There are some year end tasks you should be aware of, including form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement, contribution statements and a few tips for closing your books.
Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement
In completing this form for clergy, please be sure to reference the Example of Form W-2 for Clergy. This document shows the way to properly include the designated housing allowance, United Methodist Pension Investment Plan (UMPIP) contributions, and other salary reduction items on this IRS form. The deadline for this form is January 31, 2019.
We must provide a written acknowledgement (letter) that includes the name of the church, the amount of the cash contribution, and a statement that no goods or services were provided by the organization in return for the contribution. These written acknowledgements to donors are typically provided no later than January 31st of the year following the donation.
Here are a few tips for closing your books:
- Perform Bank Reconciliation: If you are not already performing monthly reconciliations, I encourage you to begin now! Bank reconciliations will help you to identify discrepancies in your records and sometimes with the bank.
- Compare Current Year to Prior Year: Create a report comparing your 2018 financial results to your 2017 financial results and investigate any significant differences. This will help you to identify errors and/or see the major changes in your church financial health that you should report to your finance committee.
- Schedule Local Church Audit: The United Methodist Book of Discipline assigns the responsibility for the annual audit of financial records to the committee on finance. The committee “shall make provisions for an annual audit of the financial statements of the local church and all its organizations and accounts. The committee shall make a full and complete report to the annual charge conference”. Click here for the Local Church Audit Guide.