New 2022 IRS Standard Mileage
On June 9, the IRS announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rate for the final six months of 2022. Starting July 1 through December 31, the standard mileage rate for the business use of employees’ vehicles will be 62.5 cents, an increase of four cents from 58.5 cents that was originally announced for 2022. This rate of 62.5 is the highest rate the IRS has ever published. This new rate will be for business-related mileage starting on July 1. Business-related mileage driven in June will still be reimbursed at 58.5 cents, even if the reimbursement request is submitted in July.
The rates for deductible medical travel and moving expenses for active-duty members of the military will also increase four cents from 18 cents per mile to 22 cents per mile. The mileage rate for charitable use of an automobile will remain at 14 cents per mile, as it is fixed by law and not subject to adjustments for inflation.
Adjusting Minister Housing Allowance
Ministers always request their Housing Allowance designation late in the previous year or early in the current year. However, housing expenses for 2022 have substantially increased since then. Also, on June 15, the Federal Reserve increased their base interest rate by 75 basis points (.75%). This will have an effect on all interest rates. So, adjustable or variable mortgages rates soon will be increasing. For ministers affected by these increases in housing costs, there is good news. Ministers can amend their Housing Allowance at any time if there is a significant change in their housing costs. The change in Housing Allowance must be based on the new housing costs and will be effective from the next issue of pay until year-end. The minister and their Session just need to follow the same process as setting the designation at the start of the year.
Are internal controls necessary?
Here is recent article from Vickey Boatright Richardson at FreeChurchAccounting.com:
I was asked the other day if internal controls are necessary for a small church that only has one volunteer doing their books. My reply was a resounding YES! Sadly, I continue to see and hear reports of even small churches and nonprofit organizations being hurt because someone misused or stole funds meant for good.
One of the most important internal controls you can put in place is not letting one person have access to “everything” (the collection, recording, and spending). Even if you are a small organization and don’t have but one person to do everything, you can put some controls in place, such as hiring an outside bookkeeping firm to at least reconcile the accounts and look over your accounting file.
In fact, that is my number one tip! Make sure someone other than the ones recording or spending the funds reconciles the bank and credit card accounts EVERY MONTH!
I have several resources and more information on best practices for church treasury functions and internal controls/separation of duties that I would be happy to provide.
PWV support of PDA’s humanitarian efforts in Ukraine
Since the crisis in Ukraine started back in February, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has been sending resources and supporting ecumenical partners in Eastern and Central Europe who are addressing the humanitarian crisis there: Community of St. Egidio in Ukraine (working in western Ukraine), Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (in western Ukraine & Hungary), Hungarian Interchurch Aid (in Ukraine & Hungary), Lutheran World Federation (in Poland), and International Orthodox Christian Charities (in Romania).
UPDATE: I am happy to report that, through June, the churches of the PWV have sent $17,656 to aid the PDA’s work in Ukraine. The need in Ukraine and the needs of Ukrainian refugees continue. PDA contuses to accept donations for Disaster Relief-International Refugee Programs-Ukraine (#DR000156).
Credit card usage
Activity at our churches is ramping back up, and as activity picks up, so do purchases and expenditures. That means it is probably a good time to revisit, or perhaps, implement card use procedures and controls. There are several examples of fraud and embezzlement taking place at churches because of lax or nonexistent controls being in place and being used. If your church has a credit card(s) or is considering acquiring one, I have several resources available on controls and best practices for using credit cards as a part of your church treasury function.
Paying guest speakers
As we approach summer and are making plans for Vacation Bible School and other summertime events, I often get asked: “We had someone in to speak at our (fill in the event). They didn’t ask for any money, but we wanted to thank them for their time. That would be a love gift and not taxable to them, right?” The correct answer is, because they performed a service for the love offering, the IRS requires the church to file and send a 1099-NEC, if you gave them $600 or more in a calendar year.
Churches and/or nonprofits are required to obtain a completed and signed W-9 from anyone that they give a love offering, honorarium, or gift if some kind of service was performed. You do not have to report reimbursements for travel expense reimbursements, if mileage and expense information is submitted and reimbursed at the IRS standard rate. I am happy to discuss your questions about how to handle guest speaker/musician payments and have resources available.
News from the Board of Pensions
From the Rev. Dr. Douglas Portz, Senior Church Consultant:
As you may have recently seen, the Assistance Program of The Board of Pensions provides support to all eligible members enrolled in the Benefits Plan. This includes not only ministers but also all lay staff enrolled in the plan, too. The Board is committed to providing all who serve the Church with access to these opportunities to support wholeness. We’ve expanded access to meet the growing needs and diversity of the Church, and introduced a new grant this year – Minister Debt Relief. If you know someone on your staff who might need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me to set up a time to discuss eligibility guidelines and how to apply for a grant.
You also may have recently seen that federal student loan borrowers may receive credit for past periods of repayment that would not have qualified for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Ministers enrolled in the Benefits Plan may visit the EdAssist page for more information.
Stewardship Kaleidoscope: Sept. 26-28
Registration is open for this year’s Stewardship Kaleidoscope, featuring more than 30 workshops spanning theology, practical stewardship planning, creative ventures, and legacy programming. Register and explore stewardship in its many colorful dimensions!
2022 Per Capita
The 2022 Per Capita rate is $30.05 per member, according to the church’s membership in the most recently file statistical report. The 2022 Per Capita was approved at the August 2021 presbytery meeting. With the total rate at $30.05 per member, the Presbytery of West Virginia will keep $18.67, sending $8.98 and $2.40 to the General Assembly and Synod of the Trinity, respectively.
Helping us understand the importance of Per Capita to our connectional church is this excellent article, titled (coincidentally enough) “Understanding Per Capita,” in a recent issue of Presbyterians Today.
2022 Special Offerings Calendar
Here is this year’s calendar for the four churchwide Special Offerings of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), of which two remain.
PEACE & GLOBAL WITNESS: Sept. 4 to Oct. 2
CHRISTMAS JOY: Nov. 27 to Dec. 18
NOTE: Donations to the four Special Offerings are accepted at any time. The dates above are for times of special emphasis on the offerings. Click here for more information or to order resources, or call the PC(USA) Store at 800-533-4371.