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The Freedom from Religion Foundation, or FFRF, has decided not to pursue an additional challenge of the clergy housing allowance at the Supreme Court level. This means that clergy housing and parsonage allowance provisions will likely to remain in place for tax year 2019 and for years beyond.

For those unfamiliar with court events, the legal battle over the clergy housing allowance has persisted for nearly a decade. FFRF claims that the clergy housing allowance favors clergy as a special class of taxpayer and penalizes ordinary taxpayers and 501(c)(3) organizations who lack such a provision.

FFRF initially won victories at the district court level in 2013 and 2017, but lost at Appeals Court. The next step for FFRF would be to appeal to the US Supreme Court, but they state on their website “After “counting heads,” we concluded that any decision from the current court would put the kibosh on challenging the housing allowance for several generations.”

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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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