In a previous article, we examined churches and their exemption status under federal and Tennessee laws. Now, we look at the third level of church tax exemption – local property tax.
In Tennessee, property tax is actually a joint state and county matter. The state Board of Equalization ensures that property tax matters are handled consistently and based on state law. However, since the majority of the work on property matters is handled in county offices, most people consider property tax a local matter. Continue reading “More on Churches and Tax Exemption”
Everyone knows churches are tax-exempt entities. However, very few people understand what this really means, the various levels of taxation and how they apply to churches.
In simplest terms, there are three basic levels of taxing authority that impact Tennessee churches: (1) federal government, (2) Tennessee government and (3) local governments. This article deals with churches and their tax exemption from the federal government. Continue reading “Churches and Tax Exemption”
Designated gifts to a church can be a source of great support to church ministries, but can also cause conflict and confusion if the gifts are not properly handled and administered. Churches should be sure they adopt policies that are consistent with tax law and IRS regulations — and then apply those policies uniformly with all gifts.
One key principle of designated gifts is often misunderstood: For any gift to be considered a charitable contribution, the church must maintain what is called “administrative control” over the funds. This means the church must make the decisions on how the money is spent, regardless of the designations attached to it. Continue reading “Proper Handling of Designated Gifts to Churches”