Prior to accepting the appointment to serve as a Presiding Bishop, I was involved in accounting and income tax preparation, working in C.P.A. firms and serving clients of my own. During my three pastorates I worked to supplement our income in this field which covered a period of about ten years. During this time, I had the privilege of working with some good accountants who demonstrated integrity, and among some who did not. I was always irritated by the tactics some of the accountants used. Instead of calmly and deliberately following the law to complete proper tax returns, they would use fear to retain their clients.
As I began to near the time of my retirement from tax work, a lot of my friends and clients would say, “who am I going to get to help me with this now?” I would honestly explain that if a tax preparer does not continue their education, and stay up-to-date with changes in the tax law, they are not doing anyone a favor. I was often asked who I could recommend to help with their accounting and tax work, which I would gladly do when I knew the accountant to be someone with integrity and honor. Since working as a Presiding Bishop for the past twelve years, many are no longer in this practice, so that list has grown very short.
I am recommending a resource to you today (NO, I AM NOT RECEIVING PAYMENT OR CREDIT OF ANY TYPE FOR THIS) that I believe will be very helpful to you and your pastor or local church. B.J. Worth of Worth Financial is one of the nation’s leading experts on ministers and religious workers tax returns. On her website, you will find numerous helpful resources that are very reasonable. Each year, she writes and publishes a book, Income Tax Guide for Ministers and Religious Workers which has the latest updates of the tax laws, along with practical forms and explanations of everything from housing allowances to a sample income tax return, as well as, the forms churches are required to file with Internal Revenue Service.
To look at the materials available, go to www.worthfinancial.com. This will be extremely important if you are a local church clerk or finance committee member, and will help you prepare the forms correctly.
Again, I am writing this as a personal opinion motivated only by the desire to serve you.