Who is a minister for federal tax purposes?

Ministers are individuals who are duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed by a religious body constituting a church or church denomination. They are given the authority to conduct religious worship, perform sacerdotal functions, and administer ordinances or sacraments according to the prescribed tenets and practices of that church or denomination. If a church or denomination ordains…

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Clergy Compensation Package

The 1986 Tax Reform Act, the 1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation, Technical Correction Act of 1988, and the 1993 Reconciliation Act made the most sweeping changes in almost 50 years. The law is not simple. Your salary package is the most important factor in determining your annual tax liability. At year end, you are limited in…

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Understanding Clergy W-2 Forms

Clergy Financial Resources has created an “Understanding Clergy W-2 Forms” This PDF helps identify what needs to go in each box of a Clergy W-2. Click on the link below to access the file. Understanding Clergy W-2’s Source: Clergy Financial Resources https://www.clergytaxnet.com Clergy Financial Resources is a national accounting and finance organization serving churches and…

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Parsonage/Manse/Housing Allowance

Have you paid off your mortgage? You may be able to exclude from your gross income other eligible housing expenses directly related to providing a home. Qualifying expenses include utilities, repairs, improvements, furnishings, property taxes and insurance. Any additional mortgage that does not apply to improvements on your home cannot be excluded from gross income….

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Can Student Clergy Receive a Housing Allowance?

The housing allowance exclusion is available only for qualified “ministers of the gospel.” The term “minister of the gospel” includes ministers, priests, and rabbis, i.e., those who have been ordained, commissioned or licensed by a church and who perform certain duties or services. These duties or services generally include the performance of sacerdotal functions, the…

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Social Security Tax Paid by the Church

Social security benefits are financed through two tax systems. Employers and employees each pay the “FICA” tax, which for 2007 amounts to 7.65% of an employee’s taxable wages (a total tax of 15.3%). Self-employed persons pay the “self-employment tax,” which for 2007 is 15.3% of net self-employment earnings. Clergy are always considered to be self-employed…

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Clergy Voluntary Withholding Agreements

Ministers can arrange to have income taxes (but not social security taxes) withheld from their compensation by means of voluntary withholding agreements with their employers. If the employer agrees to such an arrangement, the minister must furnish the church with a Form W-4, and the church will then withhold on the basis of the standard…

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Health Care Reform Legislation Requires the W-2’s Show Value of Health Coverage

UPDATE 10/21/10: The IRS has announced that the health care reporting requirement will be optional in 2011 and mandatory in 2012.  From the IRS “to provide employers the time they need to make changes to their payroll systems or procedures in preparation for compliance with this requirement, the IRS will defer the reporting requirement for…

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