pastor chooses not to live in parsonage but wants an allowance for other home?

by local church
(arkansas)

Our pastor wants to move out of the parsonage. Do we still have to give him a housing allowance since the parsonage is available?

Comments for pastor chooses not to live in parsonage but wants an allowance for other home?

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Jan 03, 2015
Move out of rhe parsonage
by: MarcusNtexas

I think the housing allowance is granted at the discretion of the church and it is not an obligation or a requirement. Some smaller churches may not have the financial resources to pay the allowance. If a pastor no longer wants to live in the parsonage provided by the church, then the church should be able to choose to reduce or totally eliminate the current allowance. On the other hand, this may be an opportunity for the church to sell the parsonage and then establish a policy where all future pastors will be required to purchase or rent their own housing and the church pay future pastors an allowance that would be enough to cover the mortgage plus a realistic amount for utilities, etc.

Jan 03, 2015
Housing Allowance w/o Parsonage
by: D Fry

The housing allowance is definitely at the discretion of the church. But it need not be a cash payment. the church can simply designate a portion of the pastor's salary as a housing allowance, but it must be done before he is paid anything to apply against it. Of course, the pastor is responsible to substantiate any amount taken as housing allowance.
It is a good idea for the church and the pastor to get together and determine how much is appropriate for a housing allowance, based on expected expenses. That allows the pastor to take fullest advantage of this tax-saving opportunity.

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