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Self-Proclaimed Minister Claims Social Security Exemption

His claim was rejected by the Tax Court.

• The Tax Court rejected a self-proclaimed minister's claim that he was exempt from social security taxes on the basis of his membership in the "Body of Christ." The individual was a self-employed ice cream vendor who had no religious training but who considered himself to be a minister "employed by the Lord Jesus Christ." He preached the Gospel to children from his ice cream truck. The IRS rejected the individual's claim of exemption from social security taxes, and the Tax Court agreed. The court noted that self-employed persons who are members of an established religious sect that is opposed to social security coverage and that makes provision for the financial needs of its members may exempt themselves from social security coverage if they meet certain requirements. This exemption provision did not apply to this individual, the court concluded, since he was not a member of a recognized ...

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Posted:
  • January 1, 1991

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