Clergy Tax Q&A

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Questions and Comments on Clergy Taxes

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Archive of Readers Clergy Tax Q&A

The following comments, tips, and Q/A were provided by FreeChurchAccounting's generous readers:

FT Pastor with approved 4361. Still needs to pay SE taxes on secular work? 
My husband is a full time pastor and has been for years. He also has an approved form 4361 exemption from SE taxes for his work performed as a minister. …

Social security reimbursment 
Our Priest gets a base of $100k. We designate $36k as housing allowance, even though he lives in a church owned parsonage and pays nothing. This brings …

Guest speaker's compensation & 1099 reporting 
Our church is in the position where we do not have a pastor at the present time. We are supplying our Sunday service with a guest speaker. When we …

Pastor salary and withholding taxes 
We are a small church (less than 50 members). Our pastor recently told me that he wants us to withhold taxes on his salary for 2015. The church …

W-2's for Clergy 
I complete the W2 for a Pastor. Can you tell me what I am required to report as Payroll on his w-2? He gets a housing allowance, car allowance and Pay. …

pastor bonuses 
can we give our pastor bonuses if the church receives additional funds?

Parsonage usage 
This is our first year filing taxes as a minister. Our church has a parsonage which we live. They do not give a housing allowance. We live there all utilities …

Pastor's first W2 
Our church has no paid employees. Our pastor receives housing allowance only. Church has pastor's approved 4361 in file. This is our first year …

Pastors tax liability. 
I'm a Youth Pastor trying yet again to get a grasp on my taxes. I'm paid 35,200 total a year and it breasks down as such. 13,200 for housing and 6,000 …

Retirement fund for Pastor after sale of church building 
As a Pastor for 30 years we really did not think of our health or retirement.The church building has now been sold and the folks left want to give the …

Refuses to Provide SSN/Tax ID for 1099-M 
We have an evangelist that speaks at our church quite often. We issue him a check each time - a total of $1200.00 in 2012, but he refuses to provide me …

Withholding Taxes and 1099 or W-2? 
My husband and I co-pastor a small church, under 50. We receive 12,000/ year. We are bi-vocational and have our SS, medicare and taxes withheld at a a …

Tax Status for Pastor Insurance Deductible paid by the Church 
Is the amount that the Church pays to the Pastor or direct to a provider for a health insurance deductible ($2,000) considered taxable income by the IRS? …

severance package for minister when church closes 
Can a church which is a 501 3 c organization provide a severance package for the minister from the proceeds of selling their building and property?

Commuter Mileage 
I think Bible Study (taught by the pastor) each Monday night would be considered commuter mileage? How about the other things listed below? Our pastor …

Volunteer Pastor  
As a non paid volunteer pastor of our church can I claim any deductions for our home office which is located 30 miles from the church. Can I claim …

Can housing expenses offset other retirement benefits? 
My father is a retired minister, but is working for a small church that gave him $6,000 for the year toward health insurance. He wants to know if he can …

Pastor non church related Travel 
If a Pastor is traveling because he was invited to be a speaker at another church which is covering airflight and acomidations. Does the local church …

Pastor Vacation Gift 
Is a vacation gift given to a pastor taxable?

Does our pastor need a w2 or 1099 form ? 
We belong to a small community church. We do not have any other employees. Our pastor has been with our church for 17 years and receives a regular salary. …

Non Paid Clergy 
What tax deductions can a Youth Pastor that is licensed to marry, etc. but is bi-vocational at this time. He does use his home, car, computer and office …

Traveling Ministry Expenses 
We have a traveling ministry. We hold meetings in four different communities, and have rented a house in one of the centrally located communities for ministry …

Estimated taxes reported on 1040 
Our pastor is only receiving a housing allowance, with no other wages from the church. He is making estimated tax payments for the housing allowance. …

Is the Pastors housing allowance in addition to his salary 
Is the Pastors housing allowance an amount in addition to his salary or am I reducing his salary to the amount to be used as housing. Know the answer?

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Pay for a custodian on disability 
We have recently done a financial overall in our church. I have been appointed to our financial committee and we have run into a difficult situation. …

Non- paid minister 
Our minister receives an expense check only for an agreed upon amount by our church. Also he lives in the church's parsonage. How and what should he be …

Do you have to include taxes paid by the church as income for the Pastor? 
Our Church agreed to pay the Pastor's taxes for him. We do not take anything tax wise out of his paycheck. We do file a 941 though. Should we …

salary or housing expenses 
Our minister is paid a very small salary. He wants to claim it all as housing expenses and nothing as salary. Is this allowed? How would it be reported …

Report Income in the 1040 form or Schedule C? 
I am an ordain clery My wages are in a w-2 form can i use it on schedule C? In form 1040 I report my forms w-2 wages my personal income of 79.00 my …

Voluntary Withholding Agreement 
If our minister would like to set up a voluntary withholding agreement to have us take out Federal withholding, when they fill out the W-4, do they still …

If a church pays a pastors surgery expense, how can it be reported to minimize taxes.  
I am a pastor and my church wants to pay $2000 to cover insurance deductable. Can they do this without me having to pay taxes on the $2000? Know

Salary & travel expense broken down 
Can a pastor receive his salary in two parts? 60% for salary and 40% for travel expense. He is also given a parsonage. How should this be reported …

Ordained minister working as teacher of school under church 
If there is an ordained minister that is working as a teacher under the umbrella of a church, should his wages not have withholding, or if they state to …

frivilous return?  
I am a minster and have not yet received my tax refund for my 2009 return. The IRS requested to see my W-2 because my withholdings were very high compared …

Pastors with secular jobs. 
I am a fulltime pastor as well as a fulltime employee for a non-religious company. My income is taxed and withheld in the non-religious company, is it …

How does a Non-salaried, Non-employee Ordained Minister Figure His Estimated Tax Liability 
I understand that it is the responsibility of the pastor to figure his own estimated tax liability so that he can send in quarterly payments. How does …

Clergy E-file and "Clergy Income Statement" attached 
We have used tax cut to do our taxes for several years this year it states that a "Clergy Income Statement" explaining housing allowance must be attached. …

Tithe Withholding from Paycheck 
Can clergy and non-clergy members make pre-tax payroll deductions to be used for tithing? Know the answer? Face the same situation? Please post your

How Does a Person Become Licensed? 
Our "pastor" is not ordained. He is just a member of the church that has taken the responsibility of preaching each week since we have no pastor. The church …

Where can I find a list? 
I am looking for a list of what I can deduct from my income taxes. I am a bi vocational pastor. I do not have any taxes deducted from the salary the church …

Income Tax for a Minister not Receiving a Salary 
Minister not receiving a salary, but does receive pastoral support how would you file this on your income taxes? Pastor started a church the church …

Clergy and EIC taxes 
Most tax software companies do not know how to handle minister’s taxes. When you click on the minister's SE exemption due to filing form 4361, the Earned …

Gifts from the Church Taxable? 
Is money given by the church to the pastor for Christmas and for pastor appreciation included in W-2 Earnings? Vickey's reply It would be …

Clergy Tax Questions 
Question regarding clergy tax: My best friend is a priest at a catholic church. He was a pastor at the church till 2007 and had to leave the country. …

Donated Supplies 
Question regarding noncash donations. Sometimes people purchase things for our church - classroom supplies, food for church events, etc. and turn the …

Deductions for associate pastors 
Can an associate pastor who meets all of the 5 requirements to be considered as clergy, but who does not receive a salary be considered as eligible to …

PAYROLL SALARY FOR MINISTER 
IF THE CHURCH REQUESTED A GRANT SUBSIDY AND RECIEVED A PORTION OF IT FOR THE MINISTERS GAS, EDUCATION, BOOKS AND STIPEND CAN THE MINISTERS SALARY BE DEDUCTED …

FICA vs. SECA? 
Our church employs several part-time pastors, not all are ordained/licensed ministers. Does the law forbid the church from withholding FICA for the …

Assistant Pastor with two jobs at same church 
We have an ordained pastor that works 50% of his time as the "church secretary" and 50% of his time serving as the assistant pastor. Is he only able to …

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Pastor taxes 
My husband is a pastor of a small church that he actually started and he does not recieve any pay for his services. I am wanting to know what we can claim …

Rent 
Non of the clergy are paid at my congregation. Therefore, we all have outside sources of income. Can I deduct my rent from my taxes because I am a minster. …

Organist on Disability 
I would like to know if it is possible that the church can pay me without deducting federal and state taxes. I am presently on disability and work a few …

Question about a staff minister's position eligibility. 
We are a church of about 350, and we have a a Daycare that is in the same building. One of our credentialed minister that works for our now under our Daycare …

Can I claim travel expenses to the US? 
I am a Canadian Ordained Minister who has received no salary this year, but have traveled to the US to volunteer, can I claim my travel expenses and housing …

I received no W2 from the church, how do I report my income? 
In 2010 I pastored a church for 7 months. I received a salary, of which about 1/2 of it was designated as a housing allowance. I am no longer the …

Housing Allowance and Wages / SE Tax 
On Turbo Tax there is an option to pay SE Tax on Wages alone, housing allowance alone or BOTH wages and housing allowance. Can you just pay SE Tax on wages …

Below Poverty Pastors 
My husband and I are young, 22yrs old. Our church is very small and his salary is too. He makes $325 wk. Since we make so little, our church doesn’t …

Pastor's salary 
We are a small church and I have been treasurer for about one year. We recently got a new pastor. Are we responsible to take out taxes on him or is he …

clergy working in another capacity, do they need to pay taxes? 
A clergy working in pharmacy, are their wages tax exempt? Vickey's Reply No clergy's wages are tax exempt. Only wages earned from performing …

Questions on Minister's Taxes 
My husband is a new pastor and we are very confused. He has just been ordained and has had his housing allowance confirmed by the board. We just received …

Can someone pastor a church on social security disability 
Can someone pastor a church on social security disability without losing benefits? If so how much can that pastor make without effecting SSA Benefits …

Pastor already on disability ssi-does he have to pay taxes? 
The minister of my church was injured and lost his leg 7 years ago and is on social security disability. Two years ago, the Lord called him to start …

Pastor Attire 
An offering is being taking for the pastor’s bishop attire. Does the pastor have to pay taxes on this offering if the check is made out to the church? …

State and local income tax withholding for ministers 
You've stated that a church cannot withhold income taxes for a minister. It's clear from the IRS documents that this applies to federal income tax, but …

Bi-vocational ministers 
My husband is an ordained minister but is not employed by a church. He is bi-vocational. Does he have to be set up as a minister and pay his own social …

Other Income? 
Do I have to report my continuing education, auto allowance, and social security offset as income when paying my taxes? Vickey's Reply Yes...you …

how does a pastor file that does NOT receive any salary? 
Our pastor has elected NOT to receive any type of payroll salary. The church has a rent house he lives in. The church pays the rent and all the utilities. …

Self employment tax and health insurance deduction 
Question regarding Self employment tax and health insurance deduction: My husband is a pastor and receives a housing allowance and a salary. We pay for …

Money Given to the Minister from the Service Collection Plate  
If we give the pastor 500.00 a Sunday from the collection plate and he pays taxes from another income, will it cost him more taxes this way rather than …

Tax Breaks? 
I am a church organist. They pay my social security but no federal or state tax is withheld. What are the chances of requesting state and federal withholdings. …

Severance Pay 
I recently resigned from a church as the Pastor. The church gave me 2 months severance pay. They recently sent a 1099-misc form for the severance. I …

W2 AND HOUSING ALLOWANCE 
DO I PUT HOUSING ALLOWANCE ON THE W2? Answer Your church is not required to report the minister's housing allowance to the IRS. However some …

Ministers Contributions To His Local Church Deducted Before He's Paid - Taxable? 
My husband is the pastor and our church does not deduct his income taxes & they do not assist with his social security. We file quarterly. We had …

Minister's Compensation  
What is the percentage of the total church income supposed to go to ministers' or pastors' compensation/salaries? vickey's reply There is …

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Is it legal for ministers to work a part time....  
Some told me there are tax laws that would prevent me from working part time on top of me receiving money from people who partner with me monthly in order …

Guest Speaker Income 
If a pastor speaks regularly as a guest speaker at a second church, and receives a check each time, where does he report this income? No W-2 will be given …

Fund for Robes and Training. 
Question regarding clothing and training allowance: My church has a special Pastor's Trust (or fund) for his robes and training. Is this taxable? …

Income Earned in 2009 but paid in 2010 
My board approved a raise for me that was retroactive to October ’09. The raise amount per month was $---, totaling $---- for Oct-Dec, which when we …

Clergy Stipend 
Question regarding clergy stipend: I am the pastor of a small mission church and currently do not take compensation for my ministerial services (I also …

Claiming Mileage 
Question regarding claiming mileage as a professional expense: Can a pastor who has a residence in his church town, plus an office and a one year contract …

Unused Vacation Hours 
When a minister retires or resigns and is paid for their unused vacation time, are these hours considered regular salary only or should the hours be based …

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