In general, the fair rental value of the property is a question of facts and circumstances based on the local real estate market. If the pastor rents his or her home, the amount of the rent would be presumptive evidence of the fair rental value. Obtain the current fair rental value of your home from a local realtor or someone in the residential rental business who will give you a quote in writing. At a minimum, find and keep comparable rental listings in your neighborhood from the newspaper, or another independent source of reference. It is important to document your basis for making the determination. As to the rental value of furnishings, you can add an additional minimal amount to the rental value, or you might consider consulting a local or national furniture rental company for what it would cost to rent appropriate furniture for your home. Again, document your numbers in writing in the event you are audited in the future. If you own your home and receive as part of your pay a housing or rental allowance, you may exclude from gross income the smallest of the following: 1) The amount actually used to provided a home, 2) The amount officially designated as housing allowance, or 3) The fair rental value of the home, including furnishings, utilities, garage, etc. The tax code contains no specific percentage or dollar limitation as to how much can be designated as housing allowance. In the case of bivocational ministers and supply pastors, a reasonable designation may be up to 100 percent of the cash compensation. Source: Clergy Financial Resources Clergy Financial Resources is a national accounting and finance organization serving churches and clergy since 1980. They have an unparalleled tax expertise on the complex issues associated with clergy tax law, clergy taxes, clergy compensation and church payroll. Clergy Financial Resources is a valuable resource for clergy, churches and denominations.

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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

For more information or if you need additional assistance, please use the contact information below.

Clergy Financial Resources
11214 86th Avenue N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Tel: (888) 421-0101 
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