Tax Benefits for Missionaries
Can a contract missionary from our church receive any tax benefits while he is serving overseas?

We have a retired ordained pastor who is now our contract missionary assigned in our international mission field. Can he receive any tax benefit, such as a housing allowance like our ordained pastor, if he files a 1099?

There are a couple of tax issues surrounding this question. However, the easiest thing to consider is that individuals in a foreign country are already able to apply the foreign earned income exclusion, making it unnecessary to determine whether the housing allowance is applicable. I would recommend that you review those criteria first.

For more information on missionaries, see the downloadable training resource, "International Safety Overseas" on

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Posted: November 9, 2010
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