Ministers Contributions To His Local Church Deducted Before He's Paid - Taxable?

by Marie
(Archdale, NC, USA)

My husband is the pastor and our church does not deduct his income taxes & they do not assist with his social security. We file quarterly.

We had been told a few years ago, since he is considered self-employed and that his contributions to the church are like a return to business that if we would have the church subtract our contributions before writing his check each week that the contributions would not have to included on his W2 form at the end of the year.

We have done that this past year, but now our church treasurer says she has to list it as wages on his W2. We never see that money, which for us is $18K a year, so it's really like his income is actually $18K a year less and he's opted for less pay. Now grant you at any time he could change this, but for all of 2009 he opted for less wages and left that $18K in the church. Can you tell me if the treasurer is right? Or is there a way we can do this?



I am afraid your treasurer is right. You need to change that set up immediately! The church needs to issue your husband his full wage and then you can write a check for your contributions. Then you can itemize on your personal taxes and deduct your charitable contributions.

Hope this helps,

Church Accounting Package

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