Can you have a volunteer position but pay for the individuals clergy classes?

by Vicki
(NW Missouri)

We have a proposal for a "position" in our church for an individual to complete some job duties but only wants to be reimbursed some clergy classes for the time/compensation.

Is that person considered and employee or can they still be considered volunteer and be paid for their clergy classes?

The title of this position is Associate Pastor of Administration. These classes will fulfill the requirements to be ordained.

Comments for Can you have a volunteer position but pay for the individuals clergy classes?

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Mar 08, 2013
by: Sandi

According to IRS Pub 15B to be a exclusion from income they must be an employee and meet the rules...
Employee:For this exclusion, treat the following individuals as employees.
•A current employee.
•A former employee who retired, left on disability, or was laid off.
•A leased employee who has provided services to you on a substantially full-time basis for at least a year if the services are performed under your primary direction or control.
•Yourself (if you are a sole proprietor).
•A partner who performs services for a partnership.

Exclusion from wages. You can exclude up to $5,250 of educational assistance you provide to an employee under an educational assistance program from the employee's wages each year.

Educational Assistance
This exclusion applies to educational assistance you provide to employees under an educational assistance program. The exclusion also applies to graduate level courses.

Educational assistance means amounts you pay or incur for your employees' education expenses. These expenses generally include the cost of books, equipment, fees, supplies, and tuition. However, these expenses do not include the cost of a course or other education involving sports, games, or hobbies, unless the education:
•Has a reasonable relationship to your business, or
•Is required as part of a degree program.
Education expenses do not include the cost of tools or supplies (other than textbooks) your employee is allowed to keep at the end of the course. Nor do they include the cost of lodging, meals, or transportation.


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