Finance2020-09-16T23:31:16-04:00

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

Malachi 3:10

Purpose

The Finance Committee strives to act in the best interest of Strawbridge United Methodist Church and the members serve in a fiduciary capacity, overseeing the financial health of the church. The congregation places its confidence and trust in the Finance Committee to make financial management decisions for them regarding the use of their financial resources. This is a responsibility that requires the highest standard of care and complete loyalty to the interests
of Strawbridge United Methodist Church.

The Finance Committee meets on the second Saturday of each month.

Responsibilities

The Finance Committee is made up of nine members in three annual rotating panels and also includes the Pastor, Church Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Lay Member to Annual Conference, Associate Lay Leader of Trusted Leadership, Chair of Church Council, Chair of SPR Committee, a representative of the Trustees and Stewardship Committees, Lay Leader, Financial Secretary, and Treasurer. If any of these people are paid (other than the Pastor), they serve without a vote. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Compile an annual budget
  • Administer and disburse funds
  • Account for and deposit the offerings
  • Establish internal control policies
  • Review and report annually on the adequacy and effectiveness of internal controls
  • Provide for an annual audit of the church financial statements and report results to the annual charge conference
  • Recommend proper depositories for church funds
  • Use contributions in accordance with donors’ intent
  • Report annually to the church council all designated funds that are separate from the church budget

Reimbursements

If you’ve made a purchase or need a purchase made, you can submit your request for funds reimbursement here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of records do I need in order to prove I made a contribution?2020-09-12T22:56:07-04:00

That depends:

  • For an individual cash contribution of under $250: You must have a bank record (such as a canceled check) or a receipt from the church containing the church’s name, and the date and amount of each cash contribution.
  • For individual contributions (cash or property) of $250 or more: You must receive a written receipt from the church with the church’s name, the date and amount of each contribution, and states whether you received goods or services for your contributions (and if so, a description and good faith estimate of the value of the goods or services received). If you received no goods or services for the contributions, then the receipt must say so or indicate that only “intangible religious benefits” were received. If you’ve made individual contributions of $250 or more, don’t file your federal income tax return until you receive a contribution statement from your church that satisfies these requirements. Otherwise, your contributions may not be deductible. Canceled checks cannot be used to substantiate cash contributions of $250 or more.
  • For non-cash property valued at $500 or more: Other rules apply (see instructions to IRS Form 8283). If the value is more than $5,000, you must obtain a qualified appraisal of the property and attach an “appraisal summary” (IRS Form 8283) to the tax return on which the contribution is claimed. Some exceptions apply.

For further assistance, contact the Church Office: finance@strawridgeumc.org

Is there any limit to the amount of contributions I can deduct on my taxes?2020-09-12T22:55:35-04:00

Yes, a contribution deduction ordinarily cannot exceed 50 percent of a donor’s adjusted gross income (a 30 percent rule applies in some cases). Donors who exceed these limits may be able to “carry over” their excess contribution and deduct it in future years.

I designated my contribution to the church benevolence fund. Is it deductible?2020-09-12T22:55:20-04:00

That depends. “Designated contributions” are those made to a church for a specific purpose. If that purpose is an approved project or program of the church, you can deduct the contribution. Example: You donate $200 to the church and instruct the church treasurer to give the $200 to a specified needy family in the church. This contribution is not tax-deductible.

I gave $135 to my church when I registered for a retreat. Can I deduct that?2020-09-12T22:55:01-04:00

No, assuming you received benefits (e.g. lodging, instruction, materials) worth $135 or more. Contributions generally are deductible only to the extent they exceed the value of any premium or benefit received by the donor in return for the contribution.

Can I deduct the value of the volunteer work I did for church?2020-09-12T22:54:39-04:00

No. The value of personal services is never deductible as a charitable contribution. However, unreimbursed expenses you incur in performing services on behalf of the church may be. You can use a “standard mileage rate” to compute a deduction for any miles your drive in performing services for the church (see more at IRS “charitable” mileage rate). Be sure to maintain accurate records. Example: Several church members go on a short-term mission trip to another country. The value of their labor is not deductible, but they can deduct their unreimbursed travel expenses (transportation, meals, lodging) incurred in performing the trip.

If I mail my contribution in December year x, but it doesn’t reach the church until January year y, which year should I claim it?2020-09-12T22:54:12-04:00

On your “year x” tax return. A check that is mailed is deductible in the year the check is mailed (and postmarked), even if it is received early in the next year.

If I make a contribution in early January, can I claim it on my taxes for the previous year?2020-09-12T22:53:50-04:00

No. Contributions must be claimed in the year in which they are delivered.

Interested in joining the Finance Committee?

Share your interest using the form below, and someone from the Finance Committee will reach out to confirm your interest.

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