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Q&A: Officiating Weddings

How do I report income for officiating wedding ceremonies if I'm no longer employed by a church?

My husband, an ordained pastor, is no longer employed by a church, but he still officiates at wedding ceremonies. Is he legally allowed to perform weddings in the state of North Carolina, and how should we report the income he collects by officiating weddings?

North Carolina allows any ordained minister who is authorized by his church to perform wedding ceremonies. The income your husband earns by performing the duties of a minister are counted as self-employment income, unless your husband has elected out using Form 4361. If he is exempt from self-employment taxes on ministerial income, then his wedding fee income will also be exempt.

Frank Sommerville is an attorney and shareholder in the law firm of Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski & Zuber, P. C. in Houston and Dallas, Texas, and an Editorial Advisor for Church Law & Tax.

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.

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Posted:
  • April 20, 2010

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