Finance News!

Time to Close 2020 and Open 2021
Notes from your Conference Treasurer

2020 has been a year like no other, to say the least.  Through the closures, quarantines, kids off school and other unprecedented activity, the financial life of your church and that of the Wisconsin Conference, General Conference and world-wide programs continued.  I thank you for your commitment to the financial well-being of your local church and the Conference during the past challenging year. 
There is a lot of information to share with you. It is the beginning of a new year and there is so much to do! Hopefully, the information in this newsletter will be helpful to you and your church leadership.
Sarah Sneider
Conference Treasurer & Director of Administration

2020 Apportionments accepted through
Friday, January 15th

Thank you for your apportionment payments for 2020! Through November 30, we were consistent with the percentage received in 2019.  Our budgeted goal for 2020 is 79.9%.  We typically receive 7-8% of our annual income in the first 15 days of January as churches make their final payments toward the prior year apportionment.  If your church is able, we hope that you can fulfill your apportionment, but we certainly understand the current economic situations in various parts of Wisconsin. You may send in your final giving by mail with a check or electronically through the Ministry Financial website  For instructions, please Click here if you are interested in making your payment and any special gifts electronically.  After January 15, apportionments received will be recorded as 2021 activity.


2020 Statistical Reports Due February 28, 2021 (one month extension!)
Each year United Methodist Churches complete Statistical Reports which compiles data on Membership and Participation (Table #1), Church Assets and Expenses (Table #2), and Church Income (Table #3) for the entire denomination. The year-end reporting will continue to be done through the Ezra website. The login credentials are:

log-in: 6-digit GCNO
password: stats2020

A great first step is to print a blank form with the previous year's information.  These can be found under Reports -> Blank Church Input Form.  This gives a good overview of the expected information and what was collected last year.  Your help in submitting accurate and timely statistics by February 28, 2021 is greatly appreciated.

Statistical Report Workshop
Our Conference Statistician Donald Cramer  and Conference Treasurer Sarah Sneider will be offering a Zoom workshop on ­­Wednesday, January 13 at both noon and 6 pm to walk through the statistical report, how to log on, typical problem areas, how to report PPP loans and why certain information is so important.  It is our primary tool to track membership and expenses of our churches and this information will be used to calculate the 2022 Apportionments.  We are limited to 100 people at each session.  If you cannot attend or want to review the workshop, it will be recorded and available on our Finance web page.  We encourage you to try logging on to EZRA prior to the workshop. 

To sign up for one of the workshops, select one of these links:
Jan 13, 2021 12:00 -1:00 PM:  Registration
Jan 13, 2021 06:00-7:00 PM:  Registration


IRS Notes : Mileage rates, Form 1099s and W-2’s
Beginning January 1, 2021, the IRS standard mileage rates for the use of a car will be 56 cents per mile driven for business use (down from 57.5 in 2020), 16 cents per mile for medical and moving (down from 17) and 14 cents per mile driver in service of charitable organizations (unchanged).  Your church may choose the amount to be used, not to exceed this level. Link to IRS site 
The IRS has added a new form 1099-NEC (Non-employee compensation) that you may need to submit if you have paid over $600 for services to someone who is not your employee.  These were previously reported on 1099 MISC.  Form 1099
Remember 2020 W-2’s for your employees are due 1/31/21.  See info on clergy W-2’s in the “Benefits Corner” below.

2021 Apportionments
2021 apportionment letters went out in December and the calculations were based on 2019 statistical reports.   If you have any questions about your calculation or need to request an adjustment, please contact and provide as much detail as possible.  I will be reviewing all questions received to date and responding or recalculating as necessary. If there is an adjustment needed, please complete this form and send to your district superintendent.
Ministry Financials - Electronic payment of Apportionments and Special Giving
Over half of our churches are now using Ministry Financials to make apportionment and special giving payments and are finding it easy to use. Click here for instructions to set up payments from your checking account.
Local Church donations through the Conference web site

Local Church Donations ?


In April 2020, we set up the Conference website to accept church member donations designated for their local church in order to help churches who did not already have electronic giving set up.  The Conference covers the processing fees.  Over 90 churches requested to be added to this list.  We have received and forwarded to churches the fund and donor information for over $150,000.  We will be continuing this through 6/30/21 if your church would like to test receiving electronic donations. We are planning a ZOOM webinar with VANCO in February so churches may evaluate setting up their own account.
PPP Loan forgiveness and new PPP Legislation
Many of our Wisconsin churches applied for and received PPP loans in 2020.  We had encouraged you to wait to apply for forgiveness because pending legislation was potentially going to forgive loans under a certain amount.  Recent legislation was passed and our CPA firm held a webinar with the most current info.   Loans under $150,000 will have a “simplified forgiveness form” which has not yet been created by the SBA.  There is also new money available for those that meet the criteria. You can watch the webinar and/or get the power point here.

PPP2 Loan Information ?

Stock Donations by Your Members
The Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation (WUMF) provides a valuable service to churches who have a donor that would like to make a stock donation.  Your donor completes a form and provides a copy to your church, WUMF and their broker.  This identifies the number of shares they are donating, the church it needs to go to and can even specify how it is to be used.  It clearly identifies to their broker how to transfer the stock to WUMF.  WUMF then sells the stock and sends a check to your church for the full value of the stock (no transaction fees).  WUMF also provides tax reporting to the donor.  Check out the WUMF forms here. 

WUMF Forms ?


Church Mutual
The Conference Board of Trustees manages our relationship with Church Mutual Insurance Company. Since 1999, we have had a group plan in which all Wisconsin UMC churches participate.  This provides group rates, minimum coverage requirements and safety dividends among other benefits.  The Board determined that cyber insurance was important to all churches and has added $50,000 as required coverage for all churches.  To help offset the approximate cost at $60/year, the board also approved allowing churches to choose $1000 or $2500 as the deductible level on their property insurance.  Talk with your church agent for more information
New Treasurer Training
We have heard the need for new Treasurer training and will be working to put together a training class.  If you have specific questions in the meantime, please send them to
Finance Department Contacts
If you have a question for someone in the Finance department, you can find our contact information on the website

   from Jean Nicholas, Conference Benefits Officer

Statements with the new 2021 Pastoral Benefits monthly amounts are being sent to every pastor and church treasurer this week.  If you did not receive them, please make sure we have your correct email address on file.  You can ask your pastor for a copy of the email and send us your name, address, email, phone number, name and city of your church and the date you became the church treasurer.  Please send this information to Jean Nicholas, Conference Benefits Officer at  
A few reminders:

  • The grant to help cover pension costs ended December 31, 2020.  Churches with a ¾-time or full-time pastor will again be billed for CPP (Death and Disability) payments beginning January 1st.
  • Churches with quarter or half-time pastors will again be billed for the church’s contribution to pension through UMPIP beginning January 1st.
  • The pastor’s personal contribution to pension through UMPIP will continue to be billed to the church directly by Wespath.  (Yes, for churches with a ¼ or ½ time pastor, there are two different contributions to UMPIP – the church contribution based on 6% of Plan Compensation and the pastor’s personal contribution.) 

The pastor’s personal contribution to UMPIP would be included on the Pastoral Support Worksheet submitted following your charge conference.  This amount is based on PLAN COMPENSATION, which is the pastor’s gross salary + housing OR salary x 1.25 if the pastor lives in a parsonage. 
If the pastor has chosen the automatic 2% personal contribution, you would multiply the PLAN COMPENSATION x 2%, then divide that amount by 12 to get the monthly billing amount.

  •  Finally, if you have questions about how to prepare the pastor’s W-2, please refer to this guideline prepared by our tax advisor  W2 Instructions

If you still have questions about preparing the pastor’s W-2, you may contact one of two firms with United Methodist connections that specialize in clergy taxes:

  •  James Tarp or Andrew Bonk at Mennenga Tax & Financial in Madison, 608-241-5678,
  •  Phil Strosahl at Trusted CPA’s & Advisors LLC in Menomonee Falls, or 262-384-3815


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