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The Finance Toolbox includes important information for you to use, including clergy taxes and compensation, real property tax exemption, and mileage rate reimbursement form.
Click the following links for more information regarding taxes and compensation.
Clergy face some distinctive tax regulations and often need guidance from tax professionals with experience working with clergy. The Lewis Center has prepared this 12-minute informational video to help seminary students and clergy understand better the issues to which they and their tax preparers need to give attention. We use it as part of our seminary class on Personal Finances for Religious Professionals.
All churches must renew their real property tax exemption every year. Renewal forms must reach your assessor’s office by the deadline date, which for most towns is March 1st. Check with your local assessor’s office to confirm the date for your location. This deadline is critical. Missing the deadline date may result in the denial or revocation of your church’s real property tax exemption. This filing includes all church buildings, parsonages, and all other parcels used for religious purposes.
For a NEW PROPERTY to become tax exempt, you must file the following forms with your assessor:
- Organization Purpose RP-420-a/b Org: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/orpts/rp420aborga_fill_in.pdf
- Property Use RP-420-a/b-Use: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/orpts/rp420abuse_fill_in.pdf
- Parsonage Exemption RP-462: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/orpts/rp462_fill_in.pdf
To RENEW YOUR EXEMPTION, file the following real property tax exemption forms with your assessor:
- Organizational Purpose Renewal PR-420-a/b-RNW-1: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/orpts/rp420ab1_fill_in.pdf
- Property Use RP-420-a/b-RNW-II: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/orpts/rp420ar2_fill_in.pdf
If you have questions or need help with the forms, contact Pat Toukatly, Conference Property Specialist, by email at email@example.com or by phone at (315) 898-2010.
United Methodist Churches are classified as 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.
Your church may need to prove this status to various organizations. They will be looking for your tax ID and a copy of the Group Ruling Letter. General Conference on Finance and Administration (GCFA) has automated the process for obtaining this letter.
Click here to request a copy for your church from the legal department of GCFA. You will need to provide your church's name, address, Employer Identification Number (EIN), and approximate charger date.
Contact GCFA Legal Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org with additional questions.
The Upper New York Conference volunteers can choose to be reimbursed mileage as detailed on the Volunteer Expense/Mileage Reimbursement form. This is for mileage incurred by Conference volunteers on Conference business as part of a committee or team. Please review the form for these rates. Click here for the UNY volunteer mileage sheet.
Standard Mileage Rates for 2021, as set by the IRS, are as follows:
- 56 cents per mile driven for business use, down 1.5 cents from 2020,
- 16 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down one cent from the rate for 2020, and
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. This rate did not change from 2020.
Click here as GCF&A provides some information on church local transportation expenses for clergy and staff.
General Council on Finance and Administration provides valuable resources for the Conference and local church, including the following:
- GFCA Insurance Worksheet
- Fund Balance Report (Annual Audit)
- Report of Deacon, Pastor, and Trustee
Click here to access the reports mentioned above or click here and scroll to the bottom of the home page to locate FORMS AND RESOURCES. These pages provide answers to questions regarding finance and benefits.