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Know your land use rights


An attorney drills down on the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).


Tax issues in clergy compensation

Compensation planning for clergy and other church staff presents several unique tax issues that aren’t well understood by many church leaders and their advisers. Here are three quick key considerations when structuring compensation plans: 1.) Salary. The most basic component of church staff compensation is salary. There are two important considerations to keep in mind […]


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 […]


Church ripe for conflict?


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


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.


What’s next for health care reform?

The Supreme Court decision on the Obama health care reform


Benevolence: The right help given the right way


Churches are in the charity business.


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

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


Structuring an intern program

Many churches, ministries and charities are increasingly using volunteers


Picking a fight with the IRS: The politics issue


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.