May Newsletter

Business people

Some Pointers on General Employment Law for Churches and Religious Organizations


   Religious organizations, including churches, can sometimes find themselves being thrust into costly and time-consuming employment disputes. This month we will be offering a couple of seminars on employment related issues that I think you will find very useful in helping you both stay aware of recent changes, and also their impact on your ministry.

   The importance of understanding and appropriately applying employment law principles in today's social and political climate is not something that can be overemphasized. Disputes can result from any number of factors, including; (1) ignorance or a misunderstanding of employment law, (2) leniency (e.g. waiting until a "problem" arises before doing something about it, and/or (3) inadequate training, staffing or under funding. Being aware of the various levels of applicable employment law, be they federal, state and/or local, is a major key to avoiding preventable problems from arising.

   To set some background for this months' seminars this article will review and explain of some of the major federal employment law regulations that relate to church and religious organizations more...

IRS Moving Ahead with Form 1023-EZ


   The IRS has announced it intends to move forward with plans to implement Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, during the summer of 2014.

   Presently about 60 percent to 70 percent of all applications for exemption under code sec. 501(c)(3) are received from smaller organizations that will be eligible to use Form 1023-EZ. The proposed form is two and a half pages long, as compared to the 25-page Form 1023, which now must be completed by all organizations applying for tax-exempt charitable status. Along with the form the IRS intends to issue comprehensive instructions for filling out the form and for qualifying as a tax-exempt charity. 

   The IRS wants to streamline the application process because it wants to focus its resources on compliance. The EZ version of the application is designed to provide the IRS with sufficient information on the applicant's organizational status so that the IRS will feel comfortable granting tax-exempt status. And for organizations that file Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N (short versions of the annual reporting form), the IRS expects there will be very little compliance risk in adopting this approach.

   It is important to note, however, that the shortened application form would not be available to churches who might wish to file a formal exemption application with the IRS. When pressed to explain the exception, the IRS responded that churches are automatically considered exempt entities under the law and do not have to apply for tax-exempt status. Nevertheless, the IRS indicated they could reconsider this position at some point in the future.


403(b) Type Retirement Plans


One of the advantages of plans that offer salary deferrals to their employees under Internal Code Section 403(b) is that they are not subject to the nondiscrimination testing requirements of 401(k) plans. Instead, 403(b) plans must comply with the universal availability requirements. With few exceptions, plan sponsors must provide all employees the opportunity to defer compensation to the plan. Recently, the IRS indicated that universal availability, along with enforcement of a concept known as "effective opportunity to participate", would continue to be a primary focus area when conducting field examinations. more...


FREE Christian eBooks


David C Cook


 "David C Cook is a ministry that publishes and distributes discipleship and worship materials." Twice weekly, ebooks (and more) are available for FREE download. These books are of various genres for all interests. For more information, visit the David C Cook website by clicking HERE.


Don't have an ereader? You can download the books on Kindle Cloud Reader, Nook for Web, Google Playbooks, etc.


(I have personally downloaded 15-20 books in the past few months!
Pam Boersma, CMA, Administrative Assistant)


May Event

 Employment Law Update


Join us in San Jose or Reno for our May Luncheon Seminar.


San Jose

Crossroads Bible Church

Thursday, May 15th


Speaker: Ms. Rona Layton, an employment law attorney, and longtime friend of CMA.



  • Minimum Wage and Hour Obligations
  • Meal and Rest Periods
  • Discrimination and Retaliation Protections
  • New Immigrant and Undocumented Worker Protections
  • And much, much more


Sparks Christian Fellowship

Wednesday, May 21st


Speaker: Jason D. Guinasso, Esq., Guinasso LawJason is an advocate for employers, insurers and third party administrators. His practice focuses almost exclusively on employment and labor.




Current State of the Law Regarding the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual or Transgender (LGBT) Community

  • Can churches, ministries, and religious organizations refuse to hire or fire a LBGT person because of their gender expression, identity or sexual orientation?
  • Can LGBT people bring claims against churches, ministries and religious organizations if they are the subject of harassment and discrimination?
  • and much, much more!

To register click HERE!


Seminar Sponsor:

Thrivent Financial is a faith-based, not-for-profit membership organi-zation that does what's best for its members, supporting the values of faith, family, stewardship and service.


We offer a range of products and investment options to help you meet your financial goals.

Visit our website to learn more.

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    This information is provided with the understanding that CMA is not rendering tax, accounting, legal, or other professional advice. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from a qualified CPA, attorney, or other professional.