One of Your Greatest Assets May Become Your Greatest Enemy
Our Society has quickly become an extremely hi-tech world. In just a few short years we have developed to the point where a handheld computer or I-pad can perform more calculations quicker than the average computer of the 1990s. We have become so technologically advanced that according to one report, by the year 2030 the average individual will have as many as 19 devices on their person at any given time.
Technology is a great stride in our social, psychological, and economic advancement. Within a few short years most shopping will be done via the internet rather than fighting the crowds in a shopping mall. We have even advanced to the point where we can order our groceries online and have them delivered to our front door.
As with other entities, Churches and Ministries must become technologically advanced if they desire to be effective in this 21st Century. All successful Churches and Ministries have at least one website, while some have a website for every facet of their ministry.
Advantages of Technology for the Church
Technology has created some valuable tools for Churches. Via internet Churches are able to keep the public abreast of everything that is happening at that local house of worship. Church seekers are able to visit a website and determine if that Church may be a good fit for their family based upon the style of worship, ministries available, service times, etc.
With a website a Church can broadcast their services around the world without incurring expensive production and TV airtime costs. With the stroke of a key on a computer, the Church can e-mail blast all members or potential members of things like inclement weather closings, spur-of-the-moment meetings, and much more.
All of these things are great and have vastly improved the ability of a Church or Ministry to successfully market itself to those unfamiliar with their place of worship. But, for every pro there is a con and Church websites are no different.
Pitfalls of A Church Website
Most Churches only see the website in a positive light. Unfortunately, they have no clue as to certain restrictions and regulations they may violate while using that website to promote their Church.
Churches are nonprofit and therefore there are certain Internal Revenue regulations to which a Church or Ministry must adhere if they want to remain a legal nonprofit and protect any tax benefits to which they are entitled.
Too often Churches and Ministries rely upon the misnomer of “Separation of Church and State” to believe the IRS will not intrude upon their local Church. A Church is not exempt from IRS review. The IRS is continually looking at Churches and nonprofits for violations of the 501(c)(3) code as a means of invoking huge financial penalties that would add dollars to the US Treasury. Until now, they were somewhat limited due to a lack of agents required to provide the necessary oversight. This has changed.
The IRS has what I refer to as “website police” (website inspectors) who have the ability to view Church and Ministry websites without leaving their offices in Washington, D.C. If your Church or Ministry has anything on that website that is not allowed within the 501(c)(3) guidelines (just because it is an event happening at your Church doesn’t mean it is legal to be on the website), the IRS will revoke any tax-exempt status which you may currently enjoy (especially for the receipt of tax deductible donations), and possibly invoke fines, penalties, and in some cases, criminal charges.
Why You Need Us NOW!
Unless a website audit and review has been performed on your Church or Ministry website, you are a target.
Chitwood & Chitwood has provided proper oversight for Churches, Ministries, and nonprofits for more than 79 years. We Are The Best! Our team of legal, accounting, and IT experts will perform an audit for your Church or Ministry website to ensure there is nothing on it that would be detrimental to you. Once we finish we guarantee your website would survive an IRS inspection (provided you followed our instructions and maintained your site accordingly).
Your Church, Church Leaders, and Pastors cannot afford to become a victim to this latest IRS tool. It is imperative that you call us today at 800-225-5849 and ask to speak with Mr. Tim Haney to begin your website review.
In this upcoming year it is vital for every Pastor and Church Leader to attend the nearest Church Management and Tax Conference. At these conferences we don’t rely on scare tactics, but we will tell you the truth and you will be abreast of what is ongoing between the IRS and Churches. To see the upcoming schedule of conferences visit us at www.cmtc.org or call 800-344-0076. Time is of the essence.