10 Key Tax Developments for Pastors and Churches

The latest on church tax reporting, tax filing, housing allowances, Social Security exemptions, private letter rulings, and notable court cases.

Several recent developments affect tax reporting and filings by ministers, church staff, and churches in the new year and beyond—and all are found in the 2023 Church & Clergy Tax Guide.

For Church Law & Tax’s Advantage Members, find a deeper overview of 10 key developments covered in the tax guide.

Among the highlights church leaders should note heading into 2023:

Status of the housing allowance

In March 2019, a federal appeals court rejected an atheist group’s challenge to the constitutionality of the ministers housing allowance. Gaylor v. Mnuchin, 919 F.3d 420 (7th Cir. 2019). The atheist group did not appeal this ruling, and there have been no further legal challenges.
Tip: Be sure and check out Church Law & Tax’s update on Designating a House Allowance for 2023 to include recommendations for a variety of situations.

Tax Court cases

Why several cases decided by the Tax Court and federal courts offer cautions for church leaders regarding frivolous tax arguments, embezzlement, and more.

Why a Florida court case underscores the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) power to impose tax liens on ministries.

Declining audit rates

What the US Government Accountability Office reports about audit rates for taxpayers.

Private letter rulings

Which “private letter rulings” involving churches, clergy, and charities will no longer be issued by the IRS.

Social Security exemptions

Whether ministers who previously sought exemption from Social Security can now seek to revoke the exemption—and how.

Act Now: Order the 2023 Church & Clergy Tax Guide today or become an Advantage Member to read about the remaining key developments and get a copy of the tax guide included with your membership.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

ajax-loader-largecaret-downcloseHamburger Menuicon_amazonApple PodcastsBio Iconicon_cards_grid_caretChild Abuse Reporting Laws by State IconChurchSalary Iconicon_facebookGoogle Podcastsicon_instagramLegal Library IconLegal Library Iconicon_linkedinLock IconMegaphone IconOnline Learning IconPodcast IconRecent Legal Developments IconRecommended Reading IconRSS IconSubmiticon_select-arrowSpotify IconAlaska State MapAlabama State MapArkansas State MapArizona State MapCalifornia State MapColorado State MapConnecticut State MapWashington DC State MapDelaware State MapFederal MapFlorida State MapGeorgia State MapHawaii State MapIowa State MapIdaho State MapIllinois State MapIndiana State MapKansas State MapKentucky State MapLouisiana State MapMassachusetts State MapMaryland State MapMaine State MapMichigan State MapMinnesota State MapMissouri State MapMississippi State MapMontana State MapMulti State MapNorth Carolina State MapNorth Dakota State MapNebraska State MapNew Hampshire State MapNew Jersey State MapNew Mexico IconNevada State MapNew York State MapOhio State MapOklahoma State MapOregon State MapPennsylvania State MapRhode Island State MapSouth Carolina State MapSouth Dakota State MapTennessee State MapTexas State MapUtah State MapVirginia State MapVermont State MapWashington State MapWisconsin State MapWest Virginia State MapWyoming State IconShopping Cart IconTax Calendar Iconicon_twitteryoutubepauseplay