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“My last accountant told me I can’t deduct unreimbursed employee expenses, so I didn’t keep track of them.” This is a very common comment from new Clergy Financial Resources clients, and potentially a very costly error.

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did remove this schedule A deduction for the majority of employees, accountants or secular tax-preparers unfamiliar with clergy taxes don’t realize that an exception exists for clergy.

Unreimbursed employee expenses are still deductible for clergy, just on Schedule SE rather than Schedule A. Some examples of deductible expenses include:

  • Clergy specific clothing
  • Ministry or professional dues
  • Educational fees
  • Travel expenses
  • Religious materials
  • Subscriptions or Publications
  • Telephone (Ministry use only)
  • Meals (For ministry meetings)
  • Professional-related gifts

If you have opted out of Social Security, keep in mind you won’t have a schedule SE, so these self-employment tax deductions won’t be useful for you.

For more clergy tax tips and articles, visit our blog at https://www.clergytaxnet.com/resources/blog/


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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

For more information or if you need additional assistance, please use the contact information below.

Clergy Financial Resources
11214 86th Avenue N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Tel: (763) 425-8778 
Fax: (888) 876-5101
Email: clientservices@clergyfinancial.com


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