What should a minister's paycheck look like??? HELP

I have been a minister for 5 years now and I need some help figuring out how my paychecks should be cut to me. For the first 2 years of being a minister I received one paycheck and had my housing allowance included in that. At my current church I get 2 paychecks every pay period. (Have never understood why) One check is just a regular check with SS, medicare, federal, and state taken out of it. My other check is what is designated for my housing allowance and nothing at all is taken out of it. I have finished my taxes and I owe a significant amount. They told me because they housing check is subject to self employment taxes (SS and medicare). I always used to get a return back at my old church when i received one check. I have not opted out of social security. I am just so confused. Can someone please help me???

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Apr 12, 2013
by: Anonymous in NC

If you are a fully ordained minister, who executes all the sacraments, manages the business of the church, leads the worship services, and is considered the leader of the church, then you have the option of not having any income taxes withheld from your pay checks. Hence, you would be responsible for estimating your income tax liability and paying quarterly and the remainder at the end of the tax year. If you have not agreed to the pay arrangement you describe, then tradition has set the course for you at this church and you need to read the information on the blue tab to the left pertaining to Clergy/Minister (taxes, housing, w-2 etc.) and educate yourself for future change. If you have specific questions after your read, ask them and we will try to clarify.

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