by Jac La Tour

This is the third blog in our series about presenters at the upcoming 2011 Financial Forum for Ministries. Here are John Butler’s email responses to a series of questions about his presentation. John is tax counsel with CapinCrouse LLP. His session is titled, “Tax and Legislative Developments: Long-Term Issues and Hot Short-Term Issues.” 

Jac: How will your presentation help attendees better serve their ministries? 

John: They will be more alert to possible issues and opportunities presented by tax and regulatory changes.                                                 

Jac: What are three important takeaways attendees will learn during your presentation?

John: The first takeaway will be the current status of several major issues affecting religious organizations. A second will be the potential for “refunds” to smaller organizations of a portion of their health insurance premiums. Finally, they’ll walk away with some wisdom for handling IRS notices. 

Jac: What is one suggestion you’d offer to help attendees gain the most from this learning experience? 

John: People often hear great ideas and learn important things at conferences, many of which are good or even necessary. But no one can do everything. Therefore, instead of trying to go home and do many things, plan to leave the Forum with three to five specific action steps that can be implemented at your ministry in the next 30 days. Be concrete and specific. Actually accomplishing those three to five things will benefit your organization far more than a long list of unfulfilled desires. 

Jac: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing ministries today?

John: Our resources—people, time, money—seldom increase at the same pace as people’s expectations. The people I’m talking about are donors, staff, government, even ourselves.   

What is the biggest challenge your ministry faces regarding taxes or government regulations?

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