Following discussion is cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update. This may be helpful for CPAs serving the NPO community. You can point your clients to the linked article as a way to address common basic questions.
Corey Pfaffe, CPA, provides answers to those top questions at MinistryCPA.
The questions, with links to each answer, can be found here.
You can download a superb 12 page PDF of the full set of answers here.
If you are a pastor, missionary, church treasurer, or on the finance staff of a charity, I recommend you check out Prof. Pfaffe’s superb explanations. Get professional advice to apply the information to your situation or if you need to go beyond the very straightforward answers.
There is a bonus question:
How do you respond to my fellow minister’s comment: “I do _____________ and the IRS has never questioned me”?
I really enjoy the first part of his answer, before he gives three printed resources for further research. His typical response to that question:
“just because you haven’t been caught yet, doesn’t mean the IRS will excuse your ignorance, nor will the Lord excuse your willful neglect for God’s command to pay tribute to whom tribute is due”