Ministers often pay a small annual renewal fee to maintain their credentials, which constitutes a
deductible expense. However, ministers’ contributions to the church are not deductible as
business expenses. Many may argue that they are expected to donate generously to the church as
part of their employment. This is not sufficient to convert charitable contributions to business
expenses. The distinction is that charitable contributions are given to a qualifying organization
(such as a church) for the furtherance of its charitable activities. Dues, on the other hand, are
usually paid with the expectation that a financial benefit will result to the individual, as in a
realtor’s multi-list dues or an electrician’s union dues. A minister’s salary and benefits are not
likely to directly depend on the donations made to the church.

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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.

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