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Q&A: Is a Pastor's Holy Land Trip Tax Deductible?

Specific rules dictate the tax treatment for pastors and donors.

Update: This post was updated on 5/22/14 to clarify the tax deductibility of contributions made by donors toward a trip.

Our church's CPA says that because a Holy Land trip will serve in the continuing education of our pastor, it would be a tax deductible expense, and that anyone who contributes to the pastor's trip may receive contribution credit. Is this correct?

There are two questions here: (1) Whether the trip is a tax deductible benefit for the pastor; and (2) whether donors may receive contribution credit for giving toward the trip.

Regarding the first question, Richard Hammar directly addresses it in Chapter 4 of the Church & Clergy Tax Guide. Basically, he notes many churches present their minister with an all-expense paid trip to the Holy Land. This benefit constitutes taxable income if either or both of the following statements are true:

  • The trip is provided to honor the minister for his or her faithful services on behalf of the church.

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  • May 8, 2014

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