Can I designate a housing allowance for multiple years?

A frequently asked question about Clergy Housing is whether a minister must re-designate their housing allowance every year or if they can simply enter a designation that covers multiple years. Surprisingly, Clergy are able to designate for periods longer than a single year. IRS does not specify how long a housing allowance designation must remain…

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Can my severance pay be designated as housing?

Whether it is through resignation or retirement, a Church may agree to pay severance pay when a Minister leaves a position. In almost all cases, this severance pay is considered taxable income to the pastor or minister. The question then arises- could you designate this severance pay as housing? This is actually a question of…

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Can Construction Costs be used for the Housing Allowance?

If you’re building a new home or you’re renovating an existing home, you may be wondering: Can I include these construction expenses for my housing allowance? The IRS and federal tax courts have been very clear that Ministers are only permitted to use one residence for the housing allowance. If you have two homes, you…

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Don’t lose the housing allowance on your 403(b)!

The Housing Allowance is one of the best tax benefits currently available to clergy today. Clergy can use a housing allowance to exempt a portion of their wages from income taxes. This can be done from wages or from deferred wages that were placed into a 403(b) denominational pension. When you retire, you may be…

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Retired Ministers can still claim housing allowance

One of the best tax benefits currently available to clergy, the housing allowance, isn’t just limited to wages. Did you know that you can claim a housing allowance from your denominational pension distributions as well? When a minister retires and starts taking funds from their denominational pension, they can potentially receive the funds income-tax-free as…

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Misconceptions about the Housing Allowance

The Housing Allowance is a great tax benefit available to Clergy, but it is not widely understood. Here are some common misconceptions about the Clergy Housing Allowance. 1. If I don’t spend all of the housing allowance, I will have to pay a penalty. False. The Housing Allowance is just the portion of your wages…

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Can retired ministers claim a housing allowance?

The answer is yes. Clergy can claim a housing allowance from their denominational pension distributions, per Revenue Rulings 72-249 and 75-22. Keep in mind, taking housing allowance out of retirement instead of clergy wages does not change IRS limitations on the housing allowance. The amount you get to exclude from income taxes is still limited…

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2020 Housing Allowance Designation

2020 is almost here! December is a great time of year to update your housing allowance for the following year. Here are five quick facts about designating a housing allowance: The housing allowance designation can only be made for the future, not retroactively. This is why allowances are frequently updated in December or January for…

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What is the Housing Allowance?

The Clergy Housing Allowance is a portion of a Minister’s pay that has been designated to pay housing expenses. It is considered one of the best tax benefits currently available to Clergy because this portion of income can potentially be exempt from income taxes. In order to determine how much of the Clergy Housing Allowance…

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