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Social Security

A federal appeals court issued a ruling suggesting that ministers who opt out of Social Security will not be able to claim years later that they qualify for Social Security retirement benefits.

Federal
State:
Yoder v. Barnhardt, 2003 WL 137575 (7th Cir. 2003)

A federal appeals court issued a ruling suggesting that ministers who opt out of Social Security by filing a timely Form 4361 will not be able to claim years later that they qualify for Social Security retirement benefits on the ground that their exemption application was filed after the deadline expired and should never have been approved by the IRS.

Section 1402(g) of the tax code permits self employed members (whether ministers or laypersons) of certain religious faiths to exempt themselves from Social Security coverage if the meet several conditions, including the following: (1) the member belongs to a recognized religious sect that is opposed to the acceptance of Social Security benefits; (2) the member adheres to the sect's teachings relating to Social Security coverage; (3) the member files an exemption application (Form 4029); ...

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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:
  • July 1, 2004

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