A Brief Explanation of Parish Finance
What happens to the money that is put into the offertory baskets every Sunday?
The money that is put into the offertory baskets is used for the everyday running of the Parish. This includes wages, heating, lighting, and maintenance of the three churches, the insurance of all parish property, the diocesan levy, the primary schools telephone, equipment, bank charges, church requisites and stationary needs.
What is the Diocesan Levy?
One substantial expense, which the Parish annually incurs, is the Diocesan Levy. This is a contribution that every parish must make towards the administration of the diocese. In our diocese there are expenses such as: Education, Youth Ministry, Accord, Diocesan Mission, Cura, and the education of students for the diocesan priesthood. The current Diocesan Levy for Balyna Parish is €8,628.00 per annum. This payment is made to the Diocesan Office in twelve instalments, one every month.
What happens to the money people put into the weekly envelopes?
There are two kinds of envelopes in the box of envelopes?
1. The white envelopes marked ‘Weekly Offering’: The money donated to the ‘Weekly Offering’ collection is used to finance the day-to-day running of the parish.
2. The coloured envelopes: The money donated to the coloured envelopes is for the Priest’s Collections, Retired Priests, List of the Dead, the Propagation of the Faith and Peter’s Pence.
Please explain how the priest benefits from the Envelope Collections?
There are seven special envelopes for the support of the priest: The June Collection, The Autumn Dues, The Easter Stations, The Easter Sunday Collection, The List of the Dead, The Christmas Stations, The Christmas Day Collection. It is only from these seven envelope collections that the priest benefits.
How can you help your Parish?
We depend on the voluntary contributions of parishioners for the running and development of our parish.You may contribute to the running and development of the parish in the following ways:
You may contribute to your parish by donating to the plate collection. This collection is taken up at all weekend masses. All money from this collection goes towards the day-to-day running of the parish.
You may contribute to your parish by taking a box of envelopes. These are distrubuted to all homes in the parish at the beginning of every year. As well as the standard weekly white envelopes, the box of envelopes also contains a number of yellow and mauve envelopes which are for special collections. The box of envelopes also contains some blue envelopes which allow you to contribute quarterly, half yearly or annually. Envelopes can be returned at weekend masses in the boxes which are provided at the back of the churches. Alternatively, you may return your envelopes to the Parish Office. If, for whatever reason, you have not received a box of envelopes, you may obtain one from the Parish Office.
You may contribute to your parish by arranging to have a Standing Order with your bank. If you choose to do so, you have the option of making a monthly, three monthly or yearly contribution. An application for a Standing Order may be made at your bank. If you decide to set up a Standing Order, please click below to download the Standing Order Form. The Parish Account is at Ulster Bank, Edenderry, Co Offaly. The Account Number is: 10197240, sort code: 98 56 40.
Assuming you have contributed €250.00 or more to the parish within the tax year, the parish can receive a tax-refund from the Revenue Commissioners, by completing the appropriate form, which is available at the Parish Office.
Repayment of income tax under SN848A TCA 1997 for the tax year 2014 will be approximately €8,000.
TAX REFUND ON YOUR DONATIONS TO THE PARISH
- Total donations must be €250 or greater in the year.
Would you be willing to make a donation that won’t cost you a cent?
Believe it or not, you can and its not too complicated either!
Your parish can maximise the benefit from donations that you the parishioners are already giving in weekend and special church collections and it does not involve asking for more.
The Finance Act 2001 introduced the “Scheme of Tax Relief for Donations to Charities and Eligible Bodies”. Since then, most charities have been advising donors about the benefits and as a charity all parishes in our diocese are entitled to avail of this scheme.
Historically we have been slow to tap into the tax relief under the charitable donation scheme with only some parishes taking advantage of it. Parishioners who pay income tax can use their tax to help their parish financially. The scheme helps recognise the support that people give to their parish.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Contributions need to be made in a manner that the contributor can be identified and the donation recorded. This will normally be achieved by using the envelopes made available through the parish. Apart from the weekly contributions made to the parish, payments made to Clergy Collections can also be included when they are made in an identifiable way, by using envelopes from the box of envelopes, or distributed by the parish with the name and address of the donor included. Donations made by way of cheque, or standing order or annual payments can also be included as they are easily identifiable.
At the end of the year the parish will issue receipts for donations given in these ways and if they amount to more than €250 they are eligible to reclaim back the tax the donor has paid on the amount given.
INCOME TAX PAYERS
If you pay Income Tax (either under PAYE or self-employed/self-assessment, your parish can take advantage of the scheme subject to some conditions. As well as being able to identify the donor, the parishioner has to sign a form (once every five years) stating that they have given donations to the parish and allow their parish to claim the tax back.
The conditions are:
Total donations must be €250 or greater in the year.
Donations are not repayable. Donations do not confer a benefit on the donor (so Parish Lotto/Draws are excluded).
John is a self employed carpenter and during 2015 donated €500.00 to his parish. The parish claims a refund from the Revenue of an additional €224.63. The parish gets the initial €500 donation plus the €224.63 tax refund = € 724.63.
Mary works part time as a PAYE tax payer and also has some self-assessed income tax to pay and during 2015 donated €500.00 to the parish envelope collection. Mary also made a once-off donation of €250 towards church refurbishment. The parish claims a refund from the Revenue of an additional €336.96. The parish gets the initial €750 donation plus the €336.96 tax refund = €1,086.96
WHAT DO I DO TO SIGN UP?
Let your parish know that you wish to participate in the scheme by contacting the parish office with your name, address and method of donation. They can then furnish you with envelopes or advise you accordingly. At the end of the year, your parish will send you a receipt and a Parish Tax Rebate Form (CHY3) to be completed and returned to the parish office.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who knows how much I give?
Each parishioner’s donations are treated in the utmost confidence. Weekly amounts are recorded using anonymous numbers. At the end of the year the receipt is issued by your parish priest as an acknowledgement and thanks for your donation.
Will anyone see my tax affairs?
The parish will not receive any information from Revenue on individual’s circumstances. Payment from Revenue will be on the total tax back due to them without a breakdown of amounts.
Will the priest benefit?
This scheme is purely for the benefit of parish funds. While all collections to priests can be included in the total donations amount, any tax rebate received will be used for the charitable purposes of the parish only and will be shown as an item on the annual Income & Expenditure statement of the parish.
Your Parish Office.
Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin. www.kandle.ie