Congregational Resource Guide
Finding the right resources for your congregation
Attorney and CPA Richard Hammar contributes heavily to this article that addresses “unrelated business income” and a church’s tax obligations. Hammar first offers an explanation of “unrelated business income,” saying, it is the “gross income derived from any unrelated trade or business regularly carried on less the deductions directly connected with such trade or business.” That is just the starting point, as other considerations, such as what constitutes an appropriate deduction, impact tax liability. Among the income producing activities reviewed are: 1) renting or leasing property or space, 2) selling ads for a publication, and 3) publishing materials. A church’s tax-exempt status is discussed, and examples and case studies are offered throughout. The article cautions religious organizations to always seek professional tax and legal advice. Understanding this part of the tax code is important, making this article a must-read for clergy, lay leaders, and judicatories from any religious tradition.