Welcome to 2023
from your Conference Treasurer
We enjoy hearing from many of you this time of year as there are many year- end projects and new year deadlines. We’ll answer your common questions below. If there is anything else you need help with, please let us know. We are here to help.
Thank you for all you do for your church in your leadership roles.
Conference Treasurer & Director of Administration
TOPICS in this NEWSLETTER
- January 11 is last day to submit on- line apportionments.
- 2022 Statistical Reports will be on new software called ACStats and due 2/28/22
- Is your treasurer changing as of 1/1/23?
- How to check your 2022 and 2023 apportionments and medical/pension billing in Ministry Financials
- VANCO reduced rates for Wisconsin Conference Churches
- Paychex Flex Software
- Federal Tax Exemption Letter
- IRS Standard Mileage Rates for 2023 has been raised to 65.5 cents
- IRS Publication 1828 – Tax Guide for Churches & Religious Organizations
- Can a Church rent out or sell its parsonage – see Book of Discipline paragraph 2542
- Conference Wide Insurance Program
- Other Resources
For those churches who would still like to send apportionments and special gifts for 2022, we will accept all giving received by mail which arrive in our office by noon on January 11, or until 5 pm through the Ministry Financial website https://umcdata.net/WI
Starting on January 12, all payments received will be posted toward 2023. Please contact Lisa Adler at email@example.com or 608-837-7320 if you have questions on using this software, or if you would like her to key in one payment for you.
We ask churches to delay keying their 2022 electronic apportionment payments until after January 11. Starting January 12, all apportionments received will be recorded as 2023 activity.
This finance newsletter goes out to all clergy, treasurers, finance chairs, office administrators and anyone who has specifically subscribed to the newsletter. If you are no longer in one of these roles, please let us know the change and who is new in these positions. We are encouraging churches to make their own updates in the Church Dashboard, however, if you need our help, please let us know. You may select to unsubscribe by clicking the link on the bottom of the newsletter. But we do need to know the new person and their contact info.
How to check your 2022 Apportionments/Special gifts, 2023 apportionments and see your medical/pension billing
Ministry Financials is the on-line method for local churches to see their apportionment statements and medical/pension billing statements. Once you log in, the statements available for viewing are on the right side. You can also see on the opening page the amount due against your 2022/2023 apportionment. Please verify that we have posted your payments correctly and let us know if you see any corrections needed. If you have not used this software before, Click here for instructions.
Many of you have contacted us to find out how to get a Federal Tax Exemption Letter or proof that you are a 501©(3) organization.
There is an online form which is very straightforward for local United Methodist Churches.
You can visit UM GROUP RULING APPLICATION to get started.
For ministries that are affiliated as United Methodist organizations, such as a church, childcare program, or a summer camp, the organization must have its own EIN, board, and organizing documents. Also, this tax exemption verifies your federal status and does not affect any state tax ruling.
Publication 1828 from the IRS is full of useful information for church accountants. Here is a link to this publication Publication 1828 (Rev. 8-2015) (irs.gov) Questions we typically get asked start on page 21 – Social Security and Unemployment, withholding tax for ministers, parsonage and housing allowance and other tax information for churches
The answer is yes, and many churches are evaluating what to do with an empty parsonage. There are many questions for your Trustees, SPRC and Finance committees to consider.
- Will you need it again in the future? How soon?
- Are you willing to be a landlord?
- If you rent to anyone other than another non-profit, the property will likely become taxable. Check with your tax assessor to see what the annual property tax might be.
- If you sell the property, you must get approval from your District Superintendent and there are limitations on the use of the funds. We recommend you establish an account at the Foundation which can be used for current and future housing for your pastor and/or approved capital improvements.
- See the Book of Discipline, Paragraph 2542 for additional information.
All local churches in the Wisconsin Conference, along with the Conference camps, Conference Center, and other Conference-owned property, are required to be insured under the Conference-Wide Insurance Program, currently with Church Mutual.
Required insurance coverage within this program includes multi-peril property and liability insurance and umbrella insurance. Optional insurance coverage within this program includes directors and officers and employment practices liability insurance.
Although not part of the Conference-Wide Insurance Program, local churches are also required to maintain workers compensation insurance and auto insurance in compliance with the law.
The Conference Board of Trustees is responsible for determining and periodically re-evaluating the insurance carrier(s) for the Conference-Wide Insurance Program and the required and optional types and levels of insurance coverage under the Program.
You would be surprised how many churches in our Conference have the name First (26), Trinity (11), Zion (15), Grace (7) and Peace (5). We would greatly appreciate if you use your city/town name and your full church name when you send us an e-mail or call. THANK YOU!
Please check out our Finance pages of the Conference website for information that will be helpful to you in your role as Treasurer, Chair of Finance, etc. Here’s the link. Finance & Administration - Wisconsin Conference of the UMC (wisconsinumc.org) You will find reference information in the Handling Church Finance area.
Record Retention Guidelines
If you are ready to clean out some closet or file cabinets, but don’t know what you can get rid of, here are 2 good reference guides – the Local Church Records Schedule Local Church Records Schedule (2017-2020) (wisconsinumc.org) and the Guidelines for Managing Records. Guidelines for Managing Record of the Local Church 2017 Edition - Wisconsin Conference UMC (wisconsinumc.org)
This newsletter is automatically sent to pastors, treasurers, and finance chairs for local churches in the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church. It is also sent to other persons who subscribe online. If you were forwarded this message and are interested in receiving this periodic newsletter directly, click here to subscribe or copy this link to your web browser: https://wisconsin-email.brtapp.com/subscribe