GuideStone announces release of its Ministers’ Tax Guide By Roy Hayhurst DALLAS  • The 2018 edition of GuideStone’s annual Tax Return Preparation and Federal Reporting Guide (click here to download), Ministers’ Tax Guide for 2017 Returns is now available. In this helpful handbook, both active and retired ministers will find step-by-step instructions, sample forms and detailed help in understanding the latest tax laws.

Retirement planning is a necessity for every minister and compensated staff member. It is the church’s responsibility to be good stewards in providing funds for retirement for all employees (ministers and staff).

Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB) and GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention have an agreement which provides protection coverage for every church staff member whom the church enrolls in the “Church Retirement Plan.” “Mississippi Baptist do this differently and better than any other state convention,” stated Dr. Jim Futral, Executive Director-Treasurer of the MBCB.

The “Church Retirement Plan” is an employer sponsored 403 (b) (9) tax sheltered annuity in which the church (the employer) contributes monthly for any of the church employees she chooses (usually the pastor). W-2 employment is required to enroll an employee of your MBCB church. In addition, to qualify for “protection benefits” listed below, the employee must receive a W-2 and work at least 20 hours weekly. In either case, the church must contribute to the MBCB Cooperative Program and sign a Cooperative Agreement (available from MBCB Financial Services, Retirement). The employee may be full-time, part-time, bi-vocational ministerial or full-time, part-time non-ministerial or similar church school employees.

Upon enrollment, the church receives a monthly billing statement which is to be remitted with a church check each month to GuideStone. The employee is encouraged to contribute a portion of his/her check by signing a “Salary Reduction Agreement.” This agreement is kept on file at the church with other tax records.