Can a pastor claim housing from the church when he is also a business owner?

by Susan
(Myrtle Beach, SC)

Can a pastor that works part time at the church for the addiction ministry claim housing allowance if he also has an S Corporation with his wife for a secular business. He is 50 % owner and also works in the business?

Vickey's Reply
His secular occupation would not factor into his housing allowance eligibility. As long as he fits the criteria of a minister and his church governing body has designated and approved a housing allowance...he can claim the housing exclusion on his taxes.

However, be aware of a couple of things.

1. A housing allowance is never retroactive. For example, If it was approved in June...he could only claim eligible expenses from June to December.

2. He can only claim the lesser of 3 amounts. You can read what those are on my housing allowance page.

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