Monthly Archives: December 2012

Clergy Finances: Unemployment Benefits for Pastors

The nation’s unemployment rate is a hot topic. Regardless of what profession or industry one works in, there is always the chance for losing one’s job. This scenario is no different for church pastors. They may find themselves without a job due to the economy, changes within their church or for a variety of other reasons. The difference when it comes to clergy finances is that if pastors find themselves out of work they are rarely eligible for unemployment benefits.

Churches and other religious organizations are exempt from participating in a majority of state unemployment programs. Therefore, since they don’t… Continue reading

Tax Preparation: Tax Deductions on Business Gifts

When it comes to being a professional or owning a business, there are many circumstances that warrant gift giving. This also applies to clergymen. As a result, the IRS allows business owners including clergymen the ability to deduct expenses for small gratuities and gifts. Gifts given in a professional capacity are often given in order to build goodwill between a business or leader and clients, prospects, congregation, vendors, or employees.

When it comes to determining tax deductibility for these gifts, the IRS publications 535 and 463 outline the rules and guidelines but in general the dollar value of a gift… Continue reading

How a Housing Allowance Works on Minister Taxes

Ministers provide an array of services for members of their churches as well as for their communities. Many believe that ministers are under-compensated for the selfless work that they provide and as a result the IRS has given clergymen certain tax-exempt benefits on their taxes including a tax-exempt housing allowance. All expenses for housing including furniture and maintenance can be legally deducted as long as ministers plan accordingly in advance and provide the IRS with detailed and adequate record-keeping. And while minister taxes allow for a housing allowance that is exempt from federal and state income taxes, it is still… Continue reading

Figuring Individual and Minister Taxes: Church Donation Tax Laws

Tis the time of year for charitable contributions for individuals, clergymen and churches, but how are charitable donations supposed to be accounted for in regards to taxes?  The IRS actually allows taxpayers to itemize their deductions to write off their donations to charitable organizations; however, the church or organization that is being donated to must meet IRS requirements.

In order to prevent people from taking advantage of this deduction they have created certain rules that govern the timing of donations, maximum allowable deductions and certain documentation is required.  When preparing individual as well as minister taxes, it’s important… Continue reading

For a Smooth Tax Season Start Clergy Tax Preparation Early

As the end of the year approaches, so do thoughts of the upcoming tax season. In order for 2012 taxes to go smoothly, it often behooves us to start thinking and preparing for tax time before the year is over. This is especially true for church clergy. They have an array of interesting and complex tax issues that they need to decipher before tax season so it is often suggested that they start early on their taxes.

When it comes to clergy taxes, it’s important to keep good records of all business related expenses throughout the year. Rather than struggling… Continue reading

Tax Preparation for Ministers: Self-Employed vs. Employee

The life of a pastor can be difficult yet extremely rewarding. They have been called to minister to others therefore they do what they can to ensure that they are prepared  for whatever situations they are faced with. Until it comes to minister tax issues. These are issues that they must deal with but usually aren’t prepared for.

Many minister tax issues are hinged on whether or not they are considered self-employed or an employee of their church. The difference between the two makes a big difference when it comes to yearly tax preparation, as well as how deductions… Continue reading

Clergy Tax Services: The In’s and Out’s of Medical Insurance for Pastors

Medical insurance is an important topic for everyone, this includes those in the ministry as well. It has been cited as a major factor in most family’s financial health and pastors and clergymen are no exception to this. When it comes to clergy finances, medical insurance plays a big role. Fortunately, for pastors there are a number of alternatives available that allow pastors and their families to have affordable and quality medical coverage.

Here are a few options when it comes to medical insurance for pastors.

Group Coverage

Group coverage plans are often available for multi-staff and denominational churches and… Continue reading