Merry Christmas!

From all of us at Clergy Financial Resources, we wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas as you celebrate the birth of Our Savior. A blessed Christmas and a hope-filled New Year to you all!

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IRS Releases 2019 Standard Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the 2019 standard mileage rates. Beginning January 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 58 cents per mile for ministry or business miles driven, up from 54.5 cents for 2018 20 cents per mile driven for medical, up from…

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Clergy pay social security as self-employed

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 never deduct FICA tax from the pay of a…

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Charitable Gifts: Date of Delivery Rules

The IRS’s basic rule is that a gift must be “delivered” to the church by December 31 for it to count as a contribution for that year. The date of delivery depends on how the gift was made and delivered. Here is a quick summary of the year-end cutoff for various gift delivery methods: In…

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Suits and Vestments

Generally, a taxpayer may deduct the cost of uniforms as a business expense if the taxpayer must wear them on the job and they are not suitable for street wear.  In Ratcliff,  the Tax Court denied a minister a deduction for suits worn to church because the church did not require them. Rather, the wearing of a…

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Who Is a Minister?

When a church hires an employee, one of the initial decisions that must be made is whether to treat the worker as clergy, non-clergy employee or contractor. This decision may seem insignificant, but it has huge implications when it comes to payroll. Ministers have what is commonly referred to as “dual tax status.” For federal…

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