FAQs - Minister Expense Facility
An MEF is an account of the Appointing Body but the funds are available for the Minister to use. It is operated by two signatories, but can’t be the Minister.
The total MEF Amount must be transferred into a separate Bank Account from which cash cannot be withdrawn.
The account can be audited in the same way as other Congregational Accounts and receipts need to be kept as the ATO may ask for information for up to five years.
It is not a savings account and monies should be regularly drawn down.
For Congregations where there is more than one Minister, the account should be in the name of the Congregation and include the Ministers name, for example, Pymble Congregation [Minister’s Name] MEF Account.
It is the Treasurer (or equivalent) of the appointing bodies’ responsibility.
The simplest way is to contact the Partnership team at Uniting Financial Services HERE who can outline options for setting up the MEF including a cheque account facility or bank branded corporate credit card.
Periodical payments can be set up to pay regular accounts such as loan repayments.
Copies of all MEF statements are to be provided to the Minister.
Pretty much all household or personal expenses can be paid from the MEF such as groceries, school fees, home loans and rent, clothing, entertainment and holidays.
Payments must be to a third, non-related party.
The list of items not able to paid from this account includes items such as fines and penalties, tax debt, child support payments, offerings and donations, and any tax deductible items.
It cannot be used for a deposit on a mortgage, but it can be applied to a mortgage after it is approved and in place.
Cash CANNOT be withdrawn from an MEF.
Any items paid from the MEF cannot be claimed as a Tax Deduction by Minister, that is, there can be no ‘double-dipping’.
The MEF amount paid to the Minister is an exempt benefit so there is no FBT owing.
It is not taxed unless it is unused at the end of a placement or on retirement.
The MEF amounts are not recorded on the Payment Summary.
Additional information in regards to ATO requirements is available in the guidelines document.
As the MEF’s are to be in the name of the Congregation or appointing body, the funds set aside in these accounts remain the notional property of the Congregation/appointing body.
Any interest earned on these funds is to be transferred to the Congregation/appointing body’s accounts.
Accounts presented for payment through the MEF must be paid in full, however the Congregation or appointing body is entitled to claim the GST expense through its BAS Return.
A valid tax invoice is required before claiming any GST and the refund of GST is a benefit for the Congregation or appointing body.
No. It must be used before the placement ends.
Any balance unused is subject to taxation at the prevailing rate.
As above. It must be used or if paid out it will be subject to taxation.