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Top 3 Most Confusing Tax Issues for Clergy

What new—and veteran—ministers and treasurers need to know to file taxes correctly and receive maximum tax benefits.

Top 3 Most Confusing Tax Issues for Clergy
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Ministers and treasurers must be familiar with the tax rules that apply to clergy. Unfortunately, seminary training rarely equips new ministers with this information, and church treasurers often don't know about the unique tax laws that apply to clergy. This information gap means ministers and treasurers frequently handle clergy income and the payment of related taxes incorrectly, and they fail to take advantage of the tax benefits that are available to ministers.

For instance, ministers are eligible for five special tax rules with respect to services they perform in the exercise of their ministry. These include (1) not paying federal income taxes on the portion of their church compensation designated in advance by their church as a housing allowance (limitations apply), (2) not paying federal income taxes on the annual rental value of a parsonage provided by their church, (3) being exempt ...

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