Compensation & Professional Expenses
First Parish references the UUA’s Fair Compensation salary guidelines for Geographic Index 5 for all staff positions. The salary recommendations for each year may be found on the UUA website at http://www.uua.org/careers/compensation/fair/congregational-staff
First Parish will reimburse professional expenses in accordance with the following expense reimbursement policy.
Individual allowances for professional expenses will be set during the annual budget process for the minister and professional staff. Professional expense reimbursement will not exceed the budgeted amount for the year.
Within sixty days of incurring professional expenses, the employee must provide the Office Manager with an expense reimbursement form and documentation of the expenses. The expense reimbursement form is available in the First Parish office. Documentation includes original receipts, bills, and/or cancelled checks along with an explanation of the expense that clearly ties it to the cost of “doing business” for First Parish. In the absence of the Office Manager, information should be submitted to the Treasurer.
Employees commonly advance their own funds for professional expenses, which will be reimbursed by check. Employees may use a separate credit card exclusively for these expenses, but receipts or other documentation should also be available.
It may be possible to deduce professional expenses not reimbursed by First Parish from one’s personal income taxes. IRS rules require receipts for professional expenses over $75. A home office may be hard to claim as a deduction for professional expenses if an office is provided at First Parish.
Defining Professional Expenses
Professional expenses are those that are necessary, reasonable, and appropriate for the primary benefit of First Parish business. They can include travel, equipment, books, and periodicals. They can also include the costs of business meetings, conference expenses, meals, and professional dues – in short, the costs of “doing business.”
Initial travel from home to one’s employer is commuting and is not allowed as a professional expense.
Travel to meetings, hospitals, or members’ homes is an allowable expense if necessary for one’s duties. It is important to keep a log of all auto travel in order to claim reimbursement or to list as an itemized deduction.
Meals or lodging are a professional expense when a person is away from home. Meals that are part of a business meeting or entertainment of someone connected with one’s work are considered professional expenses. Entertainment of members of the congregation at home or elsewhere is also reimbursable.
Supplies and equipment used in a home office may be taken as a professional expense, including office equipment such as personal computers, as long as the purpose of the supplies and equipment is exclusively or predominantly for the work of First Parish. Approval for these types of expenses must be obtained prior to purchase.
Legally Mandated Compensation
Worker’s Compensation: All employees are covered under state-regulated Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Reporting forms for any injuries must be completed within 48 hours after any accident.
Social Security & Medicare: All employees are covered by the Social Security Act. Like other employers, First Parish pays one-half the tax (7.65% of salary) for all employees.