Minister’s Spouse & Family Travel Expenses

During the summer months, ministers and their families often travel together. Sometimes a minister is able to combine a trip that is partially for vacation, and partially for a legitimate business purpose, such as attending a ministry-related conference or seminar. As long as the portion of the travel that is legitimately for business purposes is…

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Are Moving Reimbursements Taxable?

The approaching summer season is often a time of transition. During this time of year churches frequently hire new employees who relocate to serve the church. Ministers and other church employees sometimes find new opportunities and make a change during the summer months, between school years. Coming out of the disruptions caused by COVID-19, many…

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Important Documents for Ministers to Keep

Important Documents for Ministers to Keep  There are certain documents all people should keep in an important place for future reference, such as a birth certificate, a social security card, or a last will and testament. For ministers, there are a few other important documents that should be retained and kept in a safe place….

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Cell Phone Deductions for Ministers

If you are a minister, chances are you spend a lot of time on the phone, especially during the Pandemic. Fortunately, ministers can deduct these expenses on their schedule SE, but there are several things you have to keep in mind. First, you have to be subject to self-employment tax in order to take the…

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Guide to Clergy Compensation

Clergy Status is a person who has been granted ecclesiastical authority by an association, denomination, or state through the rite of ordination, commissioning, or licensing. 1. Generally, an ordained minister has a Master of Divinity from an accredited theological school and is recognized through the rite of ordination to preach and teach the gospel, to…

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Q&A – The rules for cellphone reimbursement

Q: “When it comes to reimbursing employees or providing a monthly stipend for the use of their personal cellphones for ministry purposes, is this a non-taxable fringe benefit?” A: Yes, provided that your reimbursement is reasonably calculated to actually reimburse the employees for the actual costs of maintaining the phone. Creating a policy for employee…

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IRS updates mileage rates for 2020

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2020 standard mileage rates that ministers can use to calculate the deductible costs of operating their automobile for ministry or business. This rate can also be used by churches to reimburse mileage. Starting on Jan. 1, 2020, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (along with…

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Reporting taxable perks for pastors – Q&A

Question: Our pastors are allowed to charge their gym memberships on the church credit card. Is there a specific box on the W-2 where this is reported? Answer: No. The full fair market value of gym memberships is taxable and reportable on the pastor’s W-2s as wages in Box 1. 

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Deducting Cell Phone Use for Ministry Purposes

Many Ministers use their own cell phone for Church activities. They also use it for personal calls. The big question is determining what you can claim on your return as a work deduction (without getting in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service!). We all know that the IRS is a document-focused agency. If you are…

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Claiming Honoraria Expenses

You may not think of payments received from Honoraria, Weddings, Funerals and Pulpit Supply as business income, but that’s exactly how IRS treats them on your tax return. Just like any other business, if you have unreimbursed expenses while doing those activities, you can claim those expenses as deductions and reduce the tax you owe….

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