Ordained minister working as teacher of school under church

If there is an ordained minister that is working as a teacher under the umbrella of a church, should his wages not have withholding, or if they state to the payroll clerk, they should not have any FICA taxes withheld also? If such, is there any IRS Form that needs to be completed?

Know the answer? Face the same situation? Please post your answer or comment by using the "comment" link below. Thank you!

Comments for Ordained minister working as teacher of school under church

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 08, 2010
Qualifying as a minister for tax purposes
by: Vickey

In order to be classified a clergy for tax purposes, a minister must satisfy all five separate tests:

  • Be licensed or ordained
  • Administer the sacraments of the church (weddings, funerals, baptisms, and communion, etc...)
  • Be considered a religious leader by the church
    Conduct religious worship
  • Have management responsibilities in the church

I don't think as a teacher he could satisfy all 5 tests...if he didn't qualify as a minister, than the church would need to withhold and match FICA taxes. Unless the church has elected to exempt itself.

Churches must file Form 8274 with the IRS to exempt themselves from paying FICA tax on behalf of their employees.

NOTE: When filing Form 8274 a church must certify that it is opposed to the payment of Social Security taxes for religious reasons.
The filing deadline for such action relates to the date on which the church must file its first Form 941. Employees of an exempt church must pay SECA tax, which is 15.3% instead of 7.65%.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Clergy Tax Q&A.

Need training on how to use QBO or Aplos effectively for a church or better yet ...need an expert in either of those accounting software to do your monthly bookkeeping and/or payroll? See more on our accounting services!