How often should a housing allowance form be updated?

I'm wondering if there is a need to have the minister update their housing allowance form each year whenever we submit the budget for approval if nothing on it has changed.

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May 28, 2014
housing allowance form update
by: Lewis in NC

The formal approval given by the church council on the housing allowance may be written to include an on-going yearly approved amount for this. Therefore yearly updates would not be an absolute.

It probably is a better idea to update each year; however, since this would remind the minister(s) to think about new and needed repairs, such as a roof, new paint, additions, replacements, etc.--things that would not be counted as housing expense each year.

Jul 16, 2014
Safety Net
by: Vickey

Lewis is correct. Churches should designate a housing allowance in writing before the beginning of each calendar year . The minister would need to submit a Housing Allowance Worksheet before this designation is approved...even if nothing has changed.

However, churches should also consider having language in their housing allowance resolution that states “for the current year and for all future years unless otherwise provided.” to ensure that a housing allowance will always be in place for each calendar year.

This “safety net” allows a designation to carry over from year to year, preventing problems if a church forgets to designate an allowance one year. Such "safety net" designations should not be used as a substitute for annual housing allowance designations for each minister. They are simply a means of protecting ministers against inadvertent failures by the church board to designate a timely housing allowance.

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