Panel Appointed to Review Tax Rules for Ministries

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A Christian financial group has appointed a commission of church leaders to study tax-exempt rules for ministries.

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability formed the commission at the request of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

ECFA is a national accreditation organization for churches and other religious organizations. In response to Grassley's request, it created the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations. The commission will study and recommend financial standards for tax-exempt ministries.

"ECFA has a proven track record of accountability with its member organizations and is uniquely situated to work with representatives from the religious and broader nonprofit community," the Iowa senator said.

Grassley conducted a three-year investigation into the financial practices of several ministries, but found no wrongdoing.

He said reforms are "most effective when they originate from within the sector involved than from congressional fiat."

Michael Batts, a CPA with extensive experience in board governance, financial reporting and tax compliance issues for nonprofit organizations, has been appointed by ECFA's board to chair the commission, the organization announced in a released statement.

Batts will work closely with ECFA President Dan Busby who also will serve on the commission. Busby is a CPA and is recognized as one of the nation's top experts in tax and finance issues for clergy, churches, and other nonprofit organizations, according to the ECFA.

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