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• A Pennsylvania church has sought review by the United States Supreme Court of its challenge to the current coverage of churches and church employees under the Social Security Act. As noted in the November-December 1987 issue of Church Law & Tax Report, churches are free to exempt themselves from the employer's share of social security (FICA) taxes by filing a timely application (Form 8274), but only at the cost of significantly increasing the tax liability of their nonminister employees (who are thereafter treated as self-employed for social security purposes). To illustrate, churches that have not filed a timely waiver must pay the employer's share of FICA taxes (7.51% of wages) for all nonminister employees, and in addition must withhold the employee's share of FICA taxes (an additional 7.51%) from each employee's wages. Churches that file a timely waiver thereby avoid the employer's ...

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  • March 1, 1988

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