As I travel across the nation teaching Church and Clergy Tax Conferences, it troubles me when Pastors or Board Members retain the services of Chitwood & Chitwood, only to be castigated by their Churches or Trustees who feel as if they should be able to continue to do “Church as usual.”


Why Pastors or Board Members Retain Us


We can no longer do “Church as usual.” Churches retain our services for the sole purpose of bringing their House of Worship in compliance with Internal Revenue Service and Federal Regulations. The days are over when Churches can operate as many did in the past. The Government needs money and Churches are the only entities that many politicians feel have not paid their fair share.


There are many regulations that Churches now must adhere to and forms, which they are required to file. Local CPAs do not know how to properly manage Church books. Although they are good for that which they are trained (small businesses and individual tax returns), they may be disastrous for local Congregations, Pastors, and Board Members.


At our Conferences Pastors and Board Members, see first-hand just how far out of compliance they are. Our promise to them is to clean up all non-compliance issues without getting them in trouble with the IRS for previous years.


Our actions provide a safety net for Churches should the IRS show up.


Reasons Why the IRS Are Auditing Churches


It was not an accident that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was placed under the scrutiny of the IRS instead of Health and Human Services. The purpose of it is to obtain revenue. With the ACA under IRS management, the IRS has the right to walk into Churches to perform ACA audits as required by the Law. While on site, this opens the door for other actions. This may easily trigger a 941 Employment Tax audit, which may result in further investigation into Church books.


Just a few days ago, a concerned Pastor attended a Wealth Conference we hosted, not to access that valuable information, but to obtain assistance with the IRS visit to her Church. They entered on an ACA audit to look at three years of Church records. Thinking everything was in order, the IRS called and demanded to look at three more years. She recognized this as a red flag that should be quickly addressed.


We are also seeing many Pastors and Churches that have been turned in to the IRS. Angry Church Members will file meritless claims against their Pastors, simply because the man or woman of God did not move the Church in the direction they thought it should go.


Another way the IRS invades a Church is as a result of a random audit of an individual or business. This was brought to our attention in a recent conference. One of the ministers had been personally audited because his income was reported on a 1099 instead of a W-2. His audited resulted in a Church audit by the IRS that ended with a 10 million dollar lien placed against the Church property and personal assets of the Pastor and Trustees frozen until the debt is paid.


Do not attack your Pastor or Board Members for trying to protect the local House of Worship. They are doing what is best for all involved.


How We Can Help


Chitwood & Chitwood has 78 years of experience protecting Churches from IRS intrusion. Our Church and Clergy Tax Conferences provide ample instruction as to what the IRS is looking for and how Churches can ensure it does not happen to them.


We encourage every Pastor and Board Member to attend a conference in the city nearest him or her. Visit us at or 800-344-0076 to register. You will be glad you did.


Remember, for us it is “A Ministry – Not A Job!”