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The StartCHURCH Blog

Ever since Raul and his wife set out to start a new church, it has been their passion to share the difficult task of church management with ministers and ministry leaders. Taking courses at Bible college and attending church planting conferences are good, but optional, ideas. However, knowing and understanding the legal, business, and tax aspects of church and ministry is not optional, and getting it right is a requirement!

It is the founder's desire that every StartCHURCH blog function as a tool to help you grow strong in these areas. In each blog, you will find a wealth of information that will not only benefit your ministry, but might also help to keep you out of IRS trouble. The authors take time to research and write about the latest legal and tax changes happening in the world of ministry. They also address issues that affect pastors, leaders, and board members personally. Overall, the bottom line commitment is to empower you with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions.

Please take some time to browse the postings. With the collective knowledge and experience that StartCHURCH brings, coupled with applicable and encouraging feedback posted by the readers, you may find these blogs are more helpful than you can imagine!

Viewing blogs by category: IRS Compliance

13 Mar 2018

The Most Penalized Form for Ministries

Raul Rivera

Every year we talk with more than 1,000 leaders who are starting and leading ministries all across America. Many are stepping out in faith and bringing their visions to pass. While we are helping these ministry leaders in establishing a solid legal foundation for their ministries, we also point out the requirements that various governmental departments…

01 Mar 2018

Never Miss This Form Again!

Raul Rivera

Every year thousands of nonprofit organizations, including ministries, are required to file an annual information return to the IRS via Form 990. The IRS uses this form to help ensure tax-exempt organizations are continuously complying with the tax law in order to remain tax-exempt.  Form 990 specifically requires financial information from your…

27 Feb 2018

Tax Reform Implications for Churches and Ministries

Raul Rivera

By now we should all be aware that the tax reform Congress passed in December 2017 has affected our individual tax liabilities. Some changes, such as reductions to the income tax brackets, have already gone into full effect, while other changes won’t be noticed until we file our taxes next year. But what implications might the new tax reform…

30 Jan 2018

How to Start a Church the Right Way

Raul Rivera

What does it take to start a church? That’s a question many pastors and church planters ask themselves when God calls them to do so. Oftentimes, when pastors begin planning for their church launch, they think about where they are going to hold services, who they are going to ask help them to start the church, and how they are going to market…

02 Nov 2017

IRS Rules Church “Coffee Shop” Not Tax-Exempt

Raul Rivera

I love talking with pastors. I get to hear about how their churches are impacting their community and about their visions and dreams for the future.  Of the thousands of conversations that I have had with pastors throughout the years, I have noticed that there seems to be a common denominator amongst pastors and it is that pastors tend to have…

26 Oct 2017

How a Church Mistake Can be Costly to Pastors

Raul Rivera

On October 17, 2011, a U.S. bankruptcy court* ordered a minister in Michigan to pay $85,814.69 in taxes plus penalties and interest. Why? The IRS said the minister was considered a “responsible party” for purposes of the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, and the court agreed. How did this happen? What exactly is the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty? In…

19 Oct 2017

Revoked for One Missed Form

Raul Rivera

Pastor Howell’s administrative staff was in a frenzy. His church had created a nonprofit daycare in 2014. The daycare was serving 30 children; it was flourishing and made $170,000 in income that year. The income was enough to provide a few raises and to upgrade the educational materials. Though the daycare was prospering, the staff was somber…

03 Oct 2017

Are There Any Benefits of 501(c)(3) for Churches?

Raul Rivera

There is a lot of information on the Internet about whether or not churches should apply for and obtain 501(c)(3) approval. There are those who say churches should not apply for 501(c)(3) approval and there are those who say churches should apply for it.  I have addressed the question of whether a church needs to be 501(c)(3) approved and provided…

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