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Minister - Self -employeed but electing Employee treatment

by BC

Can a minister elect out of self-employed treatment? I don't mean the election out of social security taxes, I mean actually electing to be treated as an employee for all taxes - Fed, FICA, State?

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Mar 26, 2014
Clergy employee
by: Sandi

looks like there is no choice, pastors are "dual employee" he can elect to have taxes withheld but they will be included as income on w-2 box 1, seems like it would just cause more paperwork for both church and pastor to have them withheld.
hope this helps

IRS pub 517 Income: Any amount a church pays toward your income tax or SE tax, other than withholding the amount from your salary. This amount is also subject to income tax.

For social security and Medicare tax purposes, regardless of your status under the common law, the services you perform in the exercise of your ministry are considered self-employment earnings and are generally subject to self-employment tax.

IRS pub 17 Social security and Medicare taxes. you must pay self-employment tax on your earnings from services performed in the United States.


Mar 29, 2014
Sandi is correct
by: Bill OConnell

See Vickey's section on clergy taxes in the left side of her page. It is thorough and correct.

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