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.
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 https://umcdata.net/WI. 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.
IRS Notes : Mileage rates, Form 1099s and W-2’s
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 Treasureroffice@wisconsinumc.org 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
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.
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.
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 Treasureroffice@wisconsinumc.org.
Finance Department Contacts
If you have a question for someone in the Finance department, you can find our contact information on the website https://www.wisconsinumc.org/finance-administration
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, www.mtfteam.com
- Phil Strosahl at Trusted CPA’s & Advisors LLC in Menomonee Falls, email@example.com or 262-384-3815
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