Clergy

Episcopal News Service - In the latest installment in a nearly decade-long effort to have the Internal Revenue Service’s clergy parsonage exemption declared unconstitutional, the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled just the opposite. A three-judge panel said March 15 that the principal effect of the...

When the United States began, most pastors lived in church-owned parsonages, and the US carried over the common European practice of not taxing that as income. The basis of the housing exclusion from taxable income is deeply rooted in our nation’s tax history. In 1954, the...

Determining the correct social security tax for clergy is often confusing. Clergy pay social security tax under the Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA), not under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Clergy engaged in the exercise of ministry are always treated as self-employed for social security tax purposes. A congregation should...

As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that went into effect in January 2018, there is a new “parking tax” that applies to nonprofit organizations, including churches. The new regulation creates unrelated business income tax on qualified transportation fringe benefits, including employer-provided parking. Accordingly,...

Start saving time and avoid costly errors by automatically calculating total hours worked. Here are five time-saving things your church can do when implementing time sheets or a time clock: Collect employee data faster — There’s nothing more frustrating to a payroll administrator than waiting for, or chasing down, employees...

Only Ministers for Tax Purposes are eligible for a housing allowance on their ministerial earnings. Church custodians, secretaries and ministerial staff who are not Ministers for Tax Purposes are not eligible for a housing allowance. A church may call someone a minister, but the IRS may...

Generally, any expense to provide or maintain the home can be used to justify the housing exclusion. Regulations do specifically state that expenses for groceries, paper products, personal toiletries, personal clothing, and maid service cannot be used. You may legitimately include the following: Rent, principal...