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Taxability of Employer-Provided Food and Lodging

The IRS recently addressed this matter.

• The IRS addressed the question of the taxability of food and lodging provided (on a cost-free basis) to clergy and lay workers who are required to reside on a church's premises to fulfill their duties. Many churches have employees (both clergy and non-clergy) who live in church-owned housing. Of course, federal law permits clergy to exclude the annual rental value of a church-provided parsonage from their gross income for federal income tax purposes (it is taxable for self-employment tax purposes). But what about non-minister church employees who live in church-owned housing? Is the annual rental value of such housing reportable as taxable income for income tax and social security tax purposes? And what about food provided on a church's premises to both clergy and non-clergy employees? Must it be valued and reported as taxable income? These are significant questions. The recent case ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • September 1, 1992

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