What issues will the ECFA Commission address?

Sen. Charles Grassley has asked ECFA to lead an independent, private sector commission to provide input on some of the major accountability and policy issues affecting the religious nonprofit community, particularly churches. Previous post here.  ECFA’s press release here.

Dan Williams, of PSK, an accounting firm in Arlington, Texas, has some comments at Faith-Based Accounting.

In a webinar on January 14, Michael Batts, CPA and Dan Busby, CPA and President of ECFA, gave background on the Commission and what it will be addressing.

Here are a few of the issues on the commission’s plate:

  • Should churches file an annual information return, comparable to the 990?
  • Should the housing allowance for clergy be limited or modified?
  • Should the current prohibition of political involvement by churches be repealed?
  • Should this “safe harbor” for approval of senior staff’s salary be eliminated? (Background – nonprofit organizations that take certain steps to review and approve the salary of their senior staff can create a “rebuttable presumption” that the salary is reasonable – this means if the IRS would challenge the salary then the IRS has to prove it is unreasonable. This transfers the burden of proof from the organization to the IRS.)
  • Is legislation needed to address the issue of taxability of “love offerings”?

More detail on the main issues in ECFA’s summary here.

The Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations can be found here.

To be continued.  Here.

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