I am pleased to present my first ever Treasurer’s Newsletter. I hope to send you something on a regular basis. I plan to present three or so items for your consideration and perusal in the hopes that your work as treasurer will become easier and more effective.
Please feel free to reach out to me with specific questions you have which may be helpful to me in choosing topics for future newsletters.
Sales tax exemption and Utility Bills
Are you paying sales tax on your phone, internet, gas or electric bills? You are exempt from sales tax on all utilities. You very well may even be eligible for a nice refund. Look at your bill and see if MA sales tax is an itemized cost. If so, call the utility and tell them you are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. To obtain the exemption, provide the vendor with a signed copy of a Sales Tax Exempt Purchaser Certificate Form ST-5, Sales Tax Exempt Purchaser Certificate, found HERE. Fill out Part 1, and Part 3 checking the box “blanket.” You will need to provide your state tax exemption number and the expiration date on that certificate.
If you don’t have a copy of your Form ST-2, Certificate of Exemption you can contact the MA Department of Revenue at 617-887-6367 or toll-free in Massachusetts 800-392-6089. Your state tax exemption certificate is frequently the same as your Federal Tax ID.
Our Diocese offers grants to pay for half of the cost of an Environmental Stewardship Assessments offered through by Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light. Churches have unique building requirements and usage patterns that ordinary energy audits don't take into consideration. Their recommendations are more detailed and actionable because of their experience. Here is a link with more info: Environmental Stewardship Assessments. If you arrange for an assessment with MIP&L you can send me the invoice and we will reimburse your congregation for half the expense.
Free energy audits are also available through your energy providers. Contact them for details.
Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs
The Episcopal Church publishes this comprehensive, user-friendly manual which supports the increasingly complex work of all treasurers and parish administrators. It includes forms, such as the Parochial Report Form, with instructions. Here is a link to the document which you can download and save as a PDF for your reference. Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs