Qualified Charitable Distributions can help with RMDs

For those who have reached 70 ½ and must take Required Minimum Distributions, you have the option of donating your RMD to charity rather than claiming the income for yourself. Because the RMD is being donated directly to a charity, it does not count as taxable income to you. This also means that you do…

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Clergy can still deduct unreimbursed business expenses!

If you are not a licensed tax professional, you probably get most of your tax news from friends, family or news programs. “I don’t have to track business expenses, I heard they are no longer deductible” has been a fairly common statement this tax season. But for Clergy, this statement is actually false! The Tax…

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Are Mandatory Tithes a Deductible Business Expense?

Donating to Charity is normally listed as an itemized deduction on Schedule A, but some Churches also require a tithe in their terms of employment. Is mandatory tithing deductible for clergy as an unreimbursed business expense against self-employment taxes? The question matters a lot. With the increased standard deduction of the Tax Cuts and Jobs…

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Medical Deduction Threshold Raised to 10% for 2019

Claiming a medical deduction on your 2019 return is going to be even more difficult than on your 2018 return. Previously, taxpayers needed to itemize and spend at least 7.5% of their adjusted gross on unreimbursed medical expenses before they got to deduct anything. Now the threshold has been raised to 10% of your adjusted…

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Can I deduct the cost of clothing?

IRS allows clergy to deduct the cost of clothing on their Schedule SE, but there is a catch. The clothing has to be work-specific and not appropriate for use outside of work. For example, a nice three piece suit or a dress shirt cannot be deducted because these could easily be worn outside of work,…

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Dos and Don’ts of Cell Phone Deductions

Almost everyone seems to have a cell phone these days. If you own a cell phone and use it for Ministry work, you may be able to claim the Ministry portion as a deductible expense. Here are some quick Dos and Don’ts about claiming a Cell Phone Deduction. Do keep a good record of what…

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Travel Deductions for Ministry Work

When you’re travelling for Ministry work, it’s easy to become so busy that you forget to keep track of your expenses. Here are five quick tips for claiming travel expenses for your tax return. 1. There are lots of different unreimbursed expenses that Clergy can claim on their taxes. The most common expenses include airfare,…

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Clergy can still deduct unreimbursed business expenses

It used to be that if you paid for business expenses out of your own pocket, you could deduct them on Schedule A. When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed, it eliminated the ability to deduct unreimbursed business expenses on Schedule A for all taxpayers… Fortunately, there is still another way to deduct some…

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Turbocharge your 403(b) Savings

In 2019, you can elect to contribute up to $19,000 to your 403(b) account out of your salary. If you are age 50 or older at the end of the year, you can also make a catch-up contribution of $6,000. In total, you could contribute up to $25,000 to your 403(b) account. Why is this…

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Deducting Cell Phone Use for Ministry Purposes

Many Ministers use their own cell phone for Church activities. They also use it for personal calls. The big question is determining what you can claim on your return as a work deduction (without getting in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service!). We all know that the IRS is a document-focused agency. If you are…

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