A growing church with a growing budget is a challenge but government regulations must be followed

Prepare your staff to feel the pinch this year from this new rule. | by Don Corder

While the world was counting down to the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service was making changes to the US tax code that could take money out of the pockets of pastors and ministry leaders.

In addition to regular annual adjustments that we expect to see, they made a change that affects almost every person who drives a personal vehicle as part of a job and that can affect a number of pastors.

For the first time in four years, the IRS lowered the standard mileage rate taking the 2019 rate of $0.58 per mile down to $0.575 per mile for 2020. As the bookkeepers for churches and charities all across the United States, we see a number of ministries reimbursing their pastors and lay leaders for their ministry-related trips—like when the pastor conducts visitation or when the youth leader drives to the annual service meeting on the other side of the state.

While you as an individual cannot deduct the mileage from your taxes, your ministry is allowed to reimburse you up to but not to exceed the standard rate. (For example, at The Provisum Group we reimburse at $0.50 per mile.) I would recommend taking some time to review your current reimbursement policies and make sure that you are in compliance with the new rules.

If you are in need of help with your bookkeeping or setting policies for your ministry, give us a call at The Provisum Group. Our CPA lead team of accountants can help make sure you are complying with state and federal laws as well as give you peace of mind that your books are true and correct. Contact us to learn more.

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