Q&A – The rules for cellphone reimbursement

Q: “When it comes to reimbursing employees or providing a monthly stipend for the use of their personal cellphones for ministry purposes, is this a non-taxable fringe benefit?” A: Yes, provided that your reimbursement is reasonably calculated to actually reimburse the employees for the actual costs of maintaining the phone. Creating a policy for employee…

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IRS updates mileage rates for 2020

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2020 standard mileage rates that ministers can use to calculate the deductible costs of operating their automobile for ministry or business. This rate can also be used by churches to reimburse mileage. Starting on Jan. 1, 2020, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (along with…

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Reporting taxable perks for pastors – Q&A

Question: Our pastors are allowed to charge their gym memberships on the church credit card. Is there a specific box on the W-2 where this is reported? Answer: No. The full fair market value of gym memberships is taxable and reportable on the pastor’s W-2s as wages in Box 1. 

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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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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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Property Tax Exemption for Parsonages

Some states exempt parsonages from property taxes which can either be homes owned by churches and occupied by clergy who serve a local church. California California property tax laws provide for three exemptions that may be claimed on church property: • The Church Exemption, for property that is owned, leased, or rented by a religious…

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Deduct Expenses Related To Church Mission Trips On Your Taxes

Summer is popular time for many churches to spread their ministry beyond the walls of their church. Whether your mission trip is an hour away or halfway across the globe, there is a substantial tax benefit available to people donating towards a mission trip.  Many people that go on mission trip do not receive the…

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