Mr.

by Carlly L. Alton
(Ft. Washington, MD)

May the leaders of a church legally withhold from and refuse to disclose to the general membership information concerning the pastor's compensation and the compensation of other church employees?

Comments for Mr.

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Disclosing pastor's compensation
by: Admin

It seems that you are raising an internal argument within the church.

The answer to your question about compensation disclosure of church personnel would have three different answers depending on whether you are a church or a 'church' under 501c3 of 26 USC.

1. If you are a church (and not a 501c3 'church') then it would be nobody's business what rules you have for your assembly. If your operating policies say that non-disclosure is the rule, then you decide whether you want to belong to a secretive church.

2. If you are a 501c3 'church', we believe you will find rules at www.irs.gov and in 26 USC (the Internal revenue laws) which state that anyone, member of the church or not, can knock on the office door of the 'church' during 'business' hours, and examine any forms filed with the irs. We are under the impression from those with experience that the financial records of 501c3 'churches' are public records and must be handed over on for inspection on demand. But, you will have to verify that rumor with the irs.

3. Secretive financial doings in churches and 'churches' may be serving a private purpose that does not want exposure.

If you are a 501c3 church, we are told that no one may profit personally from the finances of the 'church'.

If you are a church (not a 501c3 organization) then the policy of financial secretiveness should not exist because the temptation to corruption is too great for the average sinner to withstand.


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