Sacramento Accounting Services for Churches in California
Cook CPA Group
As ministers of faith, churches have an important social responsibility. As such, they must dedicate countless hours to community service and the institution’s growth and development. With so many tasks at hand, chances are that most churches in California don’t have time to handle their finances down to the smallest detail. That is why at Cook CPA Group, our experienced CPAs can take care of all your church’s tax and accounting needs. If you represent a church in the Sacramento, CA area, our knowledgeable CPAs can help you manage your organization’s financial affairs, tax planning, and tax compliance. For a free consultation, call (916) 724-1665, or contact Cook CPA Group online.
How Does the IRS Define a Church in California?
Churches and other religious institutions are generally tax-exempt. However, churches are still required to file timely and accurate informational tax returns on a yearly basis.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines what a “church” is for the purposes of tax filing. Based on certain characteristics developed by the IRS and certain court decisions, a church needs to meet standards such as the following:
- Having its own distinct legal existence
- Following an established, recognized religion and type of worship
- Having an ecclesiastical and clearly-defined government
- Following a formal, established code
- Having a distinct religious history
- Having a clear system of organizing ordained ministers
- Having an established place of worship for attendees
- Producing its own literature for worshippers and church-goers
- Providing services for attendees on a regular basis
The IRS uses a combination of these criteria, along with other facts and circumstances, to determine if an organization should be considered a church for tax purposes.
Tax and Accounting Services for Churches in Sacramento, CA
Keep in mind that determining church status is only the beginning of a larger process. After the IRS determines whether your organization meets the requirements to be a church, you will have to pay special attention to all federal and state regulations – which can be overwhelming if you never faced them before.
You should always have the counseling and guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable Roseville CPA who can guide you through the complex tax laws, rules, and regulations. There are certain characteristics you should look for when choosing an accountant for churches in California. These include the following:
- Experience – Entrusting your financial affairs to another person is a very delicate subject. You are basically placing your institution’s life in the hands of another person, hoping he or she will do an excellent job. The last thing you want is to run all your finances through the wrong person. That is why church accounting experience is so important. Managing and keeping all tax and financial information up-to-date requires special attention to detail. This is something that can only be achieved by years of experience in the field. Our skilled and knowledgeable CPAs bring more than two decades of tax and accounting experience to every case we handle.
- Transparency – The word “fraud” can cause anxiety and stress to any taxpayer – especially considering the penalties for noncompliance. This is reason enough to trust in a professional accountant backed by a track record of dedication and professional conduct.
- Dedication – A great CPA should always be ready to provide all the necessary tax services to their clients. This includes employing the latest technology and constantly studying new and existing federal and state laws. Our CPA team is constantly at the forefront of technology to ensure all our clients receive sophisticated financial and tax planning services.
Why Hire a CPA for Your Church?
Some people may think that the reason for hiring the services of a CPA is obvious. However, the role of a CPA in a religious institution goes beyond crunching numbers. A professional CPA can make the difference between complying with federal and state rules – and facing fines for noncompliance.
One of the reasons you need a CPA taking care of your church’s finances is familiarity with the latest financial practices. This includes compliance with financial and tax laws. When you retain the services of a professional accountant, you can dedicate yourself to serving your institution while we make sure your books are updated. Working with a CPA also makes it easier to timely file any tax form when needed. Our Sacramento church accountants are constantly studying and applying the latest in technology to make sure we provide swift, professional service.
Since churches rely heavily on volunteers, there is always a risk that someone could take advantage of the church’s goodwill. This could turn into a very serious situation, especially without clear financial rules in place. By hiring a CPA to handle your accounting needs, you obtain the necessary controls to remain compliant.
These are only some of the reasons why you should have an experienced CPA handling your religious institution’s finances. Don’t rely on inexperienced “professionals” who can hurt your organization financially. Instead, retain the services of a knowledgeable tax accountant for churches, like those at Cook CPA Group.
Sacramento Accountants Serving Churches and Religious Institutions
No matter your institution’s religious designation, we can provide a wide range of tax and accounting services, from filing your tax forms to helping you create a smart financial plan for the future. Let our extensive experience and tax knowledge go to work for your church. If you represent a church in the Sacramento area and need help managing your religious organization’s finances, we can help. To learn more in a free consultation, call Cook CPA Group at (916) 724-1665 today.