Can we pay for gym membership for church staff?

You can, but it would need to be considered as extra taxable income. Gym membership dues are considered a personal expense. There is no tax law that excludes employee or employer paid third-party membership dues from taxable income. The only time the value of membership dues are excludable from income is if the employer provides…

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Do I still need to track Medical Expenses?

In 2018, there were two hurdles to claiming a Medical Expense Deduction. First, you had to spend more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income on medical expenses. If you had a combined income of $100,000, you would first have to spend $7,500 on medical before you could claim any expenses. And that’s unreimbursed medical…

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Do I still need to track Housing Expenses?

A lot of people used the Standard Deduction in 2018, rather than Itemizing. You may also wonder, as a member of the clergy, “Does take the standard deduction mean we don’t have to track housing expenses in 2019?” Unfortunately, the answer is no. Even if you used the Standard Deduction, you must still keep track…

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First Quarter Estimated Payment Due

In addition to filing and paying your 1040 return, your first quarterly estimated payment will be due on April 15, 2019.  If you are a Clergy Financial client and have not yet received your updated estimated payments for 2019, you should continue to pay the same estimated amount to federal/state as you have in the…

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Filing Extensions Do Not Extend Time to Pay

The most important thing to remember about extensions is that an extension to file does not extend the time to pay. IRS expects full payment by April 15th, whether or not you file an extension or not. If you have not made all of your estimated payments or anticipated a balance for 2018, you should…

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2018 Filing Extensions

The April 15th 1040 deadline is almost here. If your return is not yet filed, you should consider filing an extension. IRS allows taxpayers to file for an automatically approved 6-month extension to October 15th if they need more time to file their 1040 tax return. No reason for the extension request is necessary- as…

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HSA Contributions Can Be Deductible, Even if You Don’t Itemize

If you contribute to an HSA, you may be able to deduct those payments from your total taxable income in 2018. Unlike regular medical expenses (which you don’t get to claim if you take the standard deduction), HSA contributions are taken as an adjustment to your income. Even if you take the standard deduction, HSA…

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IRS extends deadline for Severe Flooding in Iowa

The IRS recently announced that tax return filing and tax payment deadlines have been postponed for victims of flooding and severe storms in parts of Iowa. If you are a resident of Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona or Woodbury County in Iowa, the IRS has extended tax filing and payment deadlines. This includes the 1040 filing…

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I inherited a house. Do I have to pay the estate tax?

In most cases, the answer is no. While you may hear complaints about the “estate tax”, most Americans will never pay it. In 2019, the total assets of an estate have to be over $11,400,000 dollars before any estate tax is owed. Eleven Million Dollars! There is some confusion because there is an “estate tax”…

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Claiming Honoraria Expenses

You may not think of payments received from Honoraria, Weddings, Funerals and Pulpit Supply as business income, but that’s exactly how IRS treats them on your tax return. Just like any other business, if you have unreimbursed expenses while doing those activities, you can claim those expenses as deductions and reduce the tax you owe….

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