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• Can a self-proclaimed minister who receives no compensation for her ministerial services deduct "business expenses" associated with her ministry on Schedule C? No, ruled the United States Tax Court. The taxpayer was a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, and was considered to be a "minister" by her sect. All members of the Jehovah's Witnesses become ministers if they have been baptized for six months and are exemplary members. Being a minister does not entitle a person to perform sacerdotal functions. The taxpayer traveled door-to-door to preach the teachings of her sect. She also attended a convention of Jehovah's Witnesses in another state. On her federal income tax returns for the years in question the taxpayer reported her profession as a "minister" though the only job for which she received compensation was as a computer assistant at the FBI headquarters. She reported no income ...

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  • November 1, 1989

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