Gas allowance for ministers

by new pastor

I travel to and from church for church related services 3 times a week. I also travel on non-services days for ministerial duties. Each round trip is 3 hours. I don't get paid a salary nor do I get a housing or parsonage allowance. The only thing I get is $600 gas money / allowance. How would I report this? Am I able to claim miles, tolls fees, car maintenance (oil changes) and mechanical services? How about food for me and my family going or coming back from church?
Does my non clergy part-time job and my wife's full time job at our home town effect in a negative way what I'm as to claim as a pastor?

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Your tax filing
by: Bill OConnell

Reverend New Pastor

You have an opportunity to have this circumstance work to your advantage.

If your return is filed properly, you will be declaring $7,200 in income on a form C inside your 1040. Using the $0.56 deduction allowed, you will likely be able to decuct about $13,000 in mileage. Other expenses may be in addition.

The loss may be deductible against other income.

I suggest you get a skilled tax preparer to help with your return.

My firm does clergy tax returns.

gas allowance
by: Sandi

I strongly suggest you go the IRS web site and search "clergy" as well as site search to the right :-)
IRS pub 517
"Employee reimbursement arrangements. If you received an advance, allowance, or reimbursement for your employee expenses, how you report this amount and your employee expenses depends on whether the reimbursement was paid to you under an accountable plan or a nonaccountable plan. If you are not sure if you are reimbursed from an accountable plan or a nonaccountable plan, ask your employer.
Accountable plans. To be an accountable plan, your employer's reimbursement arrangement must include all three of the following rules.
Your expenses must have a business connection—that is, you must have paid or incurred deductible expenses while performing services as an employee of your employer.

You must adequately account to your employer for these expenses within a reasonable period of time.

You must return any excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable period of time.

The reimbursement is not reported on your Form W-2. Generally, if your expenses equal your reimbursement, you have no deduction. If your expenses are more than your reimbursement, you can deduct your excess expenses for SE tax and income tax purposes.
Nonaccountable plan. A nonaccountable plan is a reimbursement arrangement that does not meet all three of the rules listed under Accountable plans, above. In addition, even if your employer has an accountable plan, the following payments will be treated as being paid under a nonaccountable plan.
Excess reimbursements you fail to return to your employer.

Reimbursement of nondeductible expenses related to your employer's business.

Your employer will combine any reimbursement paid to you under a nonaccountable plan with your wages, salary, or other compensation and report the combined total in box 1 of your Form W-2. Since reimbursements under a nonaccountable plan are included in your gross income, you can deduct your related expenses (for SE tax and income tax purposes) regardless of whether they are more than, less than, or equal to your reimbursement.
For more information on accountable and nonaccountable plans, see Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses"

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