Church Finance Church Thoughts Payroll

Gifts For Your Church Staff

With the holiday season approaching, we’re all getting into the giving spirit. This is definitely my favorite time of the year.

What a great time to consider showing your staff members just how much you appreciate their work and dedication. But what about those gifts and what are the tax implications of gifts to employees. Here are some things to keep in mind.

I got asked the other day about how to handle a cash bonus to the staff and whether or not those gifts need to be taxed as income.

The answer for your staff members and cash gifts is yes, they do need to be taxed as income to the individual.

But what about a gift card, doesn’t that fall under the de minimus fringe gift rule? Actually No, according the IRS section 132 (e)(1) of the Tax Code a de minimus fringe gift is defined as “any property or service the value of which is so small as to make accounting for it unreasonable and administratively unpractical.”

A gift card, no matter what the amount, will need to be purchased using some form of cash transaction from the church. Therefore, that cash will need to be accounted for making that gift ineligible under this rule.

Here are some ideas on gifts and how to handle it:

– Church approved cash bonus to each employee. The amount of the gift would need to be reported on the W-2 and have taxes withheld. Your payroll administrator could gross up the amount so they net the value you’d like them to receive.

– The church provides each employee with a small, novelty gift which they spend around $20 each. This would fall under the de minimus fringe benift rule and would not need to be reported since the item itself to the recipient would not have a measurable value.

– The church provides each employee with a $20 gift card. Since the value can be measured (i.e. $20), this would be considered a taxable gift.

– Church takes the employees out to dinner. The IRS allows “group meals or picnics for employees and their guests” as a nontaxable de minimus fringe benefit.

– The church provides a $20 gift card to their volunteer, NON PAYROLL staff. This would need not be reported as taxable income because the volunteers are not employees. Additionally, a 1099 would not need to be generated as long as the yearly amount is less than $600 to the individual.

For more information, give us a call or send an email. We’d be happy to help you manage your church finances and position your ministry for success financially.

blog Church Management Time Management

Tomorrow is Today

I have to make a confession, I am a Lazy, Procrastinator.  You need only look at the timing and consistency of this blog to see proof.  Like many people, I’ve learned that there are never enough hours in a day and there is a consistent struggle between work, home, family, etc.

One thing I realized recently was the fact that Tomorrow becomes Today real quick.  Looking back a consistent message to myself was “I’ll do that tomorrow.”  What took me this long to see was that tomorrow was here before I knew it, and tomorrow has tasks of its own.

So what now?

I have now set a rule for myself to filter the statement “I’ll do that tomorrow.”  If I say that, I have to schedule it right then for a time the next day.  What I found by scheduling the tasks was a reality of what it would actually take to complete.  Often, by planning it on paper (typed into my calendar) I was able to get an objective look at the task and realize that it wasn’t as big as I thought and getting it done now would not take that long.  It was amazing what I was able to get done once I used my calendar as a filter to objectively plan out the task to complete.

What steps, processes or thoughts to you use to manage your time?

Career Opportunities Church Finance Church Management Church Thoughts Leadership

Budget for Contingencies

After working with several churches recently I found an interesting trend that I wanted to share.  As we were preparing budgets for the upcoming year, we found that most of the churches initial draft contained most of the line items from the previous year with an adjustment for the upcoming year.

While this is exactly correct, we found an area that many churches were leaving out and not considering.

A friend of mine has added a line item to his budget each year which he uses as contingency.  He purposefully budgets for opportunities that may arise throughout the year.  By adding this money into the budget, he is better able to make decisions as ministry opportunities arise.  He is also able to side-step potential landmines if unexpected bills should appear.

For most committee driven churches, the very idea of a contingency budget line will send most finance committee chairs into a frenzy.  However, I’d contend that the lack of this line could be more detrimental to your flexibility for ministry.

Take a minute and review your budget this upcoming year.  Have you budgeted to allow God to move and bring opportunities your way?

Accounting Church Finance Church Management

IRS Announces New Mileage Reimbursement Rates

Since most people aren’t anxiously waiting news and updates from the IRS, you like many others may have missed the changes the IRS made to the mileage reimbursement rates for 2013.

Starting January 1, the IRS has increased the rate of reimbursement by $0.01 for mileage driven for church-related business purposes.  Being aware of this change will help you to budget correctly should this be an area of spending for your church.

As always, if you’d like more information on making the bookkeeping process for your church more simple, Contact Us and we’ll show you our tool for simplifying church accounting.


Our Offices Have Moved!

We’re happy to announce that our offices have officially moved to the Metro East!

Axess Network now has our entire concept operating out of O’Fallon, Illinois, just across the river from St. Louis, MO.  We’re excited about the opportunities that this creates for us being closer to a larger metropolitan area.

For Your Records –

please update our address in your records.

For Mail:
PO Box 195
O’Fallon, IL 62269

For Visits:
40 Commerce Drive
O’Fallon, IL 62269

Thanks so much for your continued support and the opportunity to work and serve your ministry.


Send North America Conference 2012 Recap

I just got back from the Send North America Conference put on by the SBC’s North American Mission Board. It was a great time to meet with 2,000+ other church planters and partners from around the continent. I was amazed at the excitement and momentum that seemed to be present.
Here are just a few items that I took away from the event.

1. SBC churches in North America are losing ground. In order to reach the church/population levels that existed in the 1960s, 15,000 churches need to be planted. While that sounds like a huge number, there is hopeful news. To reach that goal, the current churches in America need to each plant only 2 churches.

2. There is a definite need for our concept. I met with several planters and leaders to explain what we can to do to help plants. They were all very interested and saw the value in our concept. That was very encouraging to me.

3. The is a need to equip planters. There are several planting organizations out there that offer any number of resources and tools to help planters. While that is great, there is also a need for practical tips for planters. We realized that you could attend a conference relating to planting almost every week of the year if you wanted. What we need are for the boots to hit the ground. Quit talking and just get started.

I am very pleased to be working with NAMB to be a small part of their strategy to plant new churches in North America. The Gospel is advancing and we are blessed to be a small part of that effort.

blog Church Management

There’s Freedom in Trust

I recently had a conversation with my business partner.  We were discussing the business and what the next steps might be for us as things progress.

In the discussion, he mentioned to me that I needed to be careful that I guard myself so that when I attend my church, I am a worshiper and not an advisor/consultant/etc.  It is so easy when we work to help churches for a living, that we can become unable to divorce business from worship.

That caution led me to an interesting observation.

He is the Executive Pastor at the church I attend.  I was confidently able to tell him that I am able to separate when I attend church because I trust him.  I can attend church and worship freely because I trust that the “business” of the church is being handled.  It’s amazing that:

“There is Freedom in Trust”

We’ll hash that idea out over the next few months but it does lead to the question:

Do the people that attend your church trust that everything is being taken care of on the back end so they can focus on worship?


Where Have We Been?

that’s a great question, things have been so busy for us over the past few months that we have neglected the blog.

We still have several projects on the docket, but will be making a conscious effort to get the blog updated and attend to it.

Expect some good things from us very soon as we are forming some strategic partnerships to get more information regularly updated on our blog.

Thanks for the patience!


Michael Allen – Testimonial

“Axess Network Rocks! Saves us money, provides professional book keeping services…innovative!”

Michael Allen, Sr. Pastor
Uptown Baptist Church
Chicago Send City Coordinator – NAMB


Vance Vyers – Testimonial

“If you have a need for website design, an answering service, bookkeeping or payroll, or other administrative concerns, Axess Network is the answer for you.”

Vance Vyers – Pastor
Damascus Road Fellowship