Our church is thinking about acting as a missions agency by directly supporting some missionaries. Do you see any concerns with doing this?
In the past, we have provided blog posts concerning how churches have chosen to serve as missions agencies. Recently, however, we have deepened our research and discussion concerning this complex topic. Our research and experience has provided some additional cautions about a church taking on the responsibilities of a missions agency.
Regulations for missionaries continue to become more complex. Unless a church is willing and able to thoroughly research and act in accordance with these regulations, we strongly discourage churches from acting as missions agencies. We fear that either the church or the missionary will not have the expertise to comply with the law.
Recently, the following topics have added to that complexity:
- Affordable Care Act
- Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBARS)
- Payments to foreign nationals
- Retirement plans
- Employee vs. contractor classifications
- Payments to foreign charities
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
- Expense reimbursement plans