housing allowance guidlines

Our Pastor just retired after many years of service with us. About 20 years ago they purchased the parsonage from the church. Then he received a what I consider small housing allowance and car allowance. Currently we are without a Pastor or a parsonage. When our new pastor comes we would like to know what to offer him for a housing allowance and car allowance. Are there guidelines somewhere that we can look at so we know what to offer?

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guidline amounts
by: Anonymous

I guess what I was really wondering is: are there any guidelines anywhere as to the amount a housing and car allowance should be? I realize this is probably different in different parts of the country. We are in a small town in Iowa. Our congregation is a decent size, but not huge, therefore not a big budget. Our previous Pastor was there for so long, I realize he probably wasn't getting paid what he should have been. So we are not sure what to offer. His wife had a big role in the church, though unpaid.

Housing Allowance just a tax break for pastors- part of their paid salary they declare
by: Anonymous

The IRS says that a minister must submit an amount he/she plans to take for housing allowance.

The housing allowance exclusion comes from Code section 107. This provision was first included in the tax code in 1921. It was revised in 1954 and again in 2002. It says: When there is a housing allowance, the pastor determines the amount of compensation to be set aside
for housing allowance and submits it to the church finance committee.

The committee must annually include the amount to be designated for housing in the committee minutes prior to the beginning of the new tax year. The pastor assumes full responsibility for complying with IRS definitions of "cost to provide a house."

A housing allowance paid as part of salary is not income to the extent you use it, in the year received, to maintain and furnish a home. The amount of the housing allowance that can exclude from income cannot be more than the reasonable compensation for your services as a minister.

The church or organization that employs you must officially designate the payment as a housing allowance before the payment is made. A definite amount must be designated; the amount of the housing allowance cannot be determined at a later date. If no part has been officially designated, you must include your total salary in your income.

guidelines for pastoral support
by: Pstr. R Rizzi, Farmington, NH

One of the guidelines to pay a pastor is the same as the principle of your local school.
This would also depend on the size and ability of your church to offer him adequate pastoral support.

As one who serves in the office, let me share your pastor is your first "missionary" so if your church cannot offer him at least $55,000 per year AND you are sending money out to other "ministries" you may want to reconsider that strategy so that he has adequate provision to care for his family.

On the other hand, many men also love to be bi-vocational as a way to help the church.

If you are part of an Association, please contact someone in the organization who can counsel you after a prayerful analysis of your church fiances.

I would love to hear back how you all did through this process.
Pstr. R

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