Moving Clergy Payroll/IRS Quarterly Payroll Reports/Form 941
As we head into the moving season for our clergy that are receiving a new appointment, many ask about the payroll timeline. The first payroll at the new appointment is not to be paid in advance according to the 2022 Annual Conference action.
With moving day being before June 30, 2023, it is appropriate to pay the pastor the final June check before he or she leave. This could be done on the last Sunday they will be leading your worship.
Then with your new pastor, you will pay them in July. Pay on the 15th and last day of the month if you pay twice a month. If your pay period is other than twice monthly, talk with the pastor parish chair or the finance committee chair to determine your pay period and remember to pay at the end of the period, not the beginning of the pay period.
As a reminder all appointed clergy and lay employees must receive a W-2 form at year end (NOT a 1099), so you must file 941 forms unless the IRS has given you permission in writing to file the IRS annual payroll form 944.
We must withhold FICA/MC and income taxes if applicable on lay employees which includes non-ordained, licensed or commissioned pastors. For ordained, licensed, commissioned clergy, you do NOT withhold FICA/MC. If the clergy requests you to withhold federal or state taxes, that is permissible.
Moving/Retiring Pastors Clergy Benefits
Pastors who are moving this year must file a new budget compensation report. Remember that this is your opportunity to change your salary reductions for pensions or to change health insurance coverage as moving is a qualifying event. You can not change or begin your FSA, HSA, or Dependent Care FSA. The amount you elected is for the 2023 year and must move forward to your new church.
If you want your new church to pay your health insurance premiums by draft so that you get a credit off your premiums, it must be set up. We can only draft for the named pastors who the local church gives us permission.
Moving/Retiring Pastors Clergy Benefits
For clergy that are moving or retiring, the conference is proud to offer help in the process. For moving clergy, be in touch with your new superintendent, to begin the process. For retiring clergy, please be in contact with Rev. Mitchell Hedgepeth in the treasurers office.
Local Church Audit
Your local church audit should be underway at this time. It is due to the district office by June 30, 2023. The administry website will give you direction for the type of report that is required as well as an audit program. Let us know if you have any questions.
2024 Local Church Budget
June and July is a great time to begin the budget process for 2024 for your local church. This allows adequate time to do a bottom up approach to budgeting. The more people who are involved in the process allows for a better budget and for more buy in of the gracious givers to the local church.
If contributors know what ministry their generous contributions to God through the local church supports, the more they will give. Tell the story and let your church be the hands and feet of Jesus in the ministry you support.
We are hearing of numerous computer breaches by bad actors in the cyber world. Be sure you protect the access to your computer and that you follow all good protocols.
Depending on your size and the possible threats you may have, you may want to have cyber insurance coverage. Contact your property insurance carrier for more information.
Congregations Departing the Mississippi Conference UMC
With the announcement of the postponed 2020 General Conference to 2024, there are a number of churches that have asked the question is it possible for a church to leave the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church before the sunset of paragraph 2553. We will be having a called session of annual conference in December 2023. Check the conference website for the timeline in place.
There are certain costs and actions that must be taken. Every situation is different. Please do not listen to other’s experience as every church’s context is different.
If you desire more information, please contact your Superintendent for an Exploration Session for your whole local church congregation.
Annual Conference Per Diem
Questions have arisen about who pays per diem for the participants to 2023 Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference. The local church is responsible to pay for its clergy serving the local church when the conference is in session. The church also pays for lay members as elected at charge conference. Both lay and clergy must attend conference to receive the payment. See the CFA report # 1 Item 3 for further clarification.
The conference provides per diem to the retirees, surviving spouses, clergy on disability and elected equalizing members provided they do not come on behalf of a local church also.
Covenant Payments for churches disaffiliating in June 2023
The disaffiliating church should have received their appointment to come to the district office in July, to complete the process provided the church was affirmed by the 2023 annual conference session.
In that letter, I suggested that you do not pay PACT Premiums, mission shares and direct invoice in May and June. This was in an effort to make sure that we have the correct payments credited to their covenant payments which are due at that appointment. My instructions were not clear. This only applies to those who pay by checks. Drafts will be drawn in May and June.
The treasurer will pay in the final salary reductions for pension contributions and medical insurance contributions through June. If you have any questions, please contact Laura Rollins or Jackie McGough in the administry office.
When we receive the updated actuary report from Wespath, we will be mailing out information about the covenant payments that are due. Watch for that letter in May 2023.