I have a couple of questions:

1. We are a very small church (about 60 regular attendees). Our pastor has a jail ministry and at this time has a married couple just out of jail staying with him. The Pastor and his wife have to drive them to another town (about 35 miles one way) for court hearings, appointments, classes, etc. We reimburse this mileage as business mileage because it is a ministry of the church. My question is - what about the lunch expenses on these trips? How do we determine if they are reimbursable business (or entertainment?)expenses. If they are reimbursable expenses, are they reimbursable for the Pastor, his (Pastor's) wife, and the couple he is transporting?

2. This couple lives in an apartment attached to the Pastor's house. It was built so his mother-in-law could come and live with them. (It was built partially with housing allowance money, a use I questioned at the time.) The Pastor considers expenses having to do with this apartment as housing allowance expenses because the county taxes the apartment as part of their house even though it is a separate residence attached to the house. Shouldn't the expenses for this apartment be excluded from housing allowance?

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May 06, 2010
Couple out of prison
by: Pete Treasurer

I believe you can expense the meals as a benevolence type cost on the church's books.

As far as the dwelling, you could also expense this as benevolence as long as the couple is living rent free.

Even if they aren't you could write off the difference to benevolence.

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