FINANCIAL & ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
The Finance office works with local churches and pastors in the areas of healthcare, pension, apportionments, loans, equitable compensation, and program support.
The director of Financial and Administrative Services provides education and training to individuals serving their local church in the area of financial ministry.
The office staff ensures that East Ohio Conference local churches are compliant with their church, audit, and pastor’s compensation reports, and it provides budget information and tools that are helpful in interpreting apportionments. The staff also processes payroll for those churches enrolled in the payroll service.
The Administrative Services office is responsible, through the Conference Board of Trustees, for the oversight and operation of the Area Center, the Episcopal residence, the conference and district parsonages, and all conference property and insurance. Questions about church parsonages, and architects/contractors working on building construction/expansion should be directed to the director of Financial and Administrative Services.
Questions about closing a church building or abandoning a church property should be directed to your district superintendent’s office.
IRS Group Rule Exemptions
In May 2020, the IRS released proposed the following updates to the rules for group exemptions, changes that could negatively impact our denomination’s group exemption: 1) A requirement that all subordinate organizations adopt a “uniform governing instrument;” 2) Specific definitions for the “general supervision” or “control” that the central organization must exercise over all subordinates; and 3) A requirement that all subordinates must fall under the same subsection of Section 509(a) of the Tax Code (limiting the types of ministries that could be included in the group exemption).
Because most of these changes would not apply to organizations already included in our group exemption, the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) strongly recommends that any United Methodist organization that wishes to apply for inclusion in the group exemption do so as soon as possible. To apply:
E-mail GCFA with you any questions that you may have about group exemption.
United Methodist Insurance Program Revisions
At its November 2019 meeting, the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) board approved revisions to the Minimum Insurance Requirements for local church property insurance coverage. The first change is that churches may purchase limits for sexual misconduct indemnification that are less than the stated minimum requirements if there is a legal cap on damages in that church’s state that is lower than the GCFA recommended limits. This assures that churches are not paying for more coverage than regional legal limits allow. The second change adds functional replacement cost as an approved method of property valuation. This change particularly helps older buildings, especially in certain instances where construction methods are outdated and costly. These changes will not require any change in current policies, but it creates enhancements that could benefit both current and new clients.
Clergy Housing Allowance
The clergy housing allowance provided by Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.
Nonprofit Employee Parking Tax Repealed
Section 512(a)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code, commonly referred to as the “parking tax”, was repealed on December 20, retroactive to the date of its enactment (January 1 2018). As a result, tax-exempt employers (such as our churches) will no longer have to increase their unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”) by amounts paid or incurred for providing parking and public transportation benefits to their employees. Despite guidance passed at the end of 2018, this section of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act caused concern due to the prospect of increased tax liability, the lack of clarity for determining the taxable amount and the administrative burdens the Act presented.
If any church filed a Form 990-T to report the unrelated business taxable income and pay the tax related to providing parking and/or public transportation benefits, the church is encouraged to consult its tax advisor to see if the church should file an amended Form 990-T and also should check to see if a state tax refund might be available.
2020 Mileage Rates
The standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also, vans, pickups or panel trucks) are:
Ohio Minimum Wage to Increase in 2020
Effective January 1, 2020 the minimum wage in the State of Ohio is $8.70/hour, an increase of $0.15 for non-tipped employees. Pay for tipped employees is $4.35/hour, an increase of $0.05. The Federal Minimum wage is $7.25/hour.
Employers whose gross earnings are more than $319,000 are required to pay employees whichever minimum wage is higher. Employers whose gross earnings are less than $319,000 shall pay their employees no less than the Federal minimum wage. Employers are required to post the minimum wage and overtime information in a conspicuous place, such as an employee break room or office that can be accessed by employees. A free downloadable copy of the poster is available here.
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH,
near Akron-Canton Airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Local: (330) 499-3972
Toll Free: (800) 831-3972
Fax: (330) 966-7581
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
© EAST OHIO CONFERENCE. All Rights Reserved.