Housing Allowance Eligibility

by Maryrose
(Chicago, IL)

My uncle has a house church which is a official religious organization. Are housing allowances only for churches with a payroll? We are trying to be able to write his house off as a parsonage. Any suggestions?

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What is a housing allowance?
by: Vickey

You need to consult a tax professional regarding writing his house off as a parsonage. I do not believe you could do this as a parsonage is usually a separate building from the church that the church owns and provides as housing to its minister.

A housing allowance is a tax benefit available to qualifying ministers. Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code allows ministers to exclude some or all of their [ministerial income designated by their church] as a housing allowance from income for federal income tax purposes. However, you do have to pay SECA taxes on the allowance.

So if the church has not designated a housing allowance there would not be anything to exclude from their ministry-related income.

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