Clergy – Part 2


Church Law and Tax 1990-01-01 Recent Developments

Clergy – Taxes

In another ruling, the IRS concluded that a minister who was employed by a crisis counseling center qualified for a housing allowance. The center was not affiliated with any particular church, but it was operated as nonprofit religious organization. The minister’s duties included Bible teaching, spiritual counseling, seminars, speaking engagements in churches, and acting as a liaison with area churches. The IRS ruled that the center could provide the minister with a tax-excludable housing allowance. In support of its ruling, the IRS cited an income tax regulation specifying that if a minister is performing “service in the conduct of religious worship or the ministration of sacerdotal functions, such service is in the exercise of his ministry whether or not it is performed for a religious organization.” In other words, the minister qualified for a housing allowance exclusion not because he was employed by a church, but because he performed religious worship and sacerdotal functions for a non-church-related organization. Private Letter Ruling 8825025.

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