Getting staff in correct ‘class’

By David Middlebrook Deciding whether an individual worker is an employee or independent contractor is an increasingly important decision and deserves every church and ministry’s full attention. It is often tempting for churches and ministries to classify workers as independent contractors so as to avoid paying employment and payroll taxes and providing employee benefits and […]

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Church ripe for conflict?

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True shepherd-leaders champion humility for a position of church leadership.

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How to avoid a defamation lawsuit

The extensive use of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, streaming sermon videos, podcasts and blogging, has placed many churches into a public arena with potential legal and public relations consequences.

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What’s next for health care reform?

The Supreme Court decision on the Obama health care reform

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Benevolence: The right help given the right way

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Churches are in the charity business.

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‘Tax-exempt’ doesn’t erase all tax issues

Churches are automatically considered tax-exempt organizations by the Internal Revenue Code,

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Structuring an intern program

Many churches, ministries and charities are increasingly using volunteers

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Picking a fight with the IRS: The politics issue

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From the founding of our country until 1953, churches and their ministers enjoyed complete freedom to address social, moral, Biblical and political issues. Churches have enjoyed exemptions from federal income tax in every income tax law enacted since 1861 without any restrictions on the political activities of the church. But in 1954 all that changed. As part of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson added a new condition to the tax exemption for all nonprofit organizations: no political activity. This amendment to the Code prohibited all nonprofits from doing anything that would support or hinder a candidate for elective office. (For purposes of this article, I will use the prior sentence as the definition of “political activity.”) This amendment was added at the last minute without any discussion or hearings.

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Under fire: The ‘ministerial exception’

There is a blockbuster religious freedom case that is currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. Courts have generally believed that federal employment discrimination statutes do not apply to church employees performing religious functions.

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Protect the morals of the church in employee agreements

Thanks to the “Employment At Will Doctrine,” employers have historically been granted broad latitude in the area of hiring and firing employees.

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