Tax Preparation

Four Tax items every Pastor should check BEFORE the end of the year.

Tax Savings Tips for Pastors, Ministers and other Clergy
1.Clergy Housing Allowance:

Did you use all of your clergy housing allowance for housing expenses,
and do you have the documentation to show it?

2. Professional Ministry Expenses:

Have you documented all your professional ministry expenses?
or, if you have an accountable plan,
have you turned in all your receipts to the church for reimbursement?

3. Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments:

Did you make your quarterly estimated tax payments?
April 15?
June 15?
September 15?
and are you ready for your January 15, 2014 payment?

Some states have December 31, 2013 as… Continue reading

Clergy Taxes: Tax Advantages for Ministers

Working as a minister has many benefits, including reaching out to and ministering to a wide array of people who are seeking help and guidance. In addition to helping others, members of the clergy are also eligible for a number of tax benefits as well. These benefits were created for members of the clergy in order to ensure that they were being reimbursed adequately for the important work that they do. Therefore it’s important that pastors are aware of the tax advantages that they are eligible to receive.

Here are some of the tax advantages that can be applied to… Continue reading

Tax Breaks on Minister Taxes

Accounting for tax breaks when figuring and submitting minister taxes can be quite complicated. The government has allowed for a number of tax benefits for members of the clergy that are not available to taxpayers outside of the clergy. These tax breaks were originally created to help members of clergy who were poorly paid. There are actually a number of lucrative exemptions that ministers should be aware of including a housing allowance that can reduce a minister’s tax burden quite effectively.

Here are some common tax benefits that ministers have access to as long as certain IRS qualifications are met.… Continue reading

Pastors Tax Basics: Filing 2012 Taxes

If you are a pastor, then it’s a good idea to start considering tax preparation for your 2012 taxes. Pastors are faced with confusing rules when it comes to their tax status and how and when to pay their taxes. The U.S. government allows pastors to be considered as both employees and self-employed depending on a pastor’s individual situation. For this reason, pastors taxes must be planned carefully and discussed with a professional.

Here are some pastors tax basics if you’ve already begun getting your 2012 taxes together.

Tax Status

Due to the fact that pastors can be classified as… Continue reading

Vehicle Deductions for Pastors

When it comes to tax preparation, appropriately deducting car expenses is an important aspect no matter what your profession, even pastors. If a pastor uses a vehicle for business and personal reasons, they are able to deduct the costs that are involved with the business use of that car. They cannot deduct expenses used for personal reasons including car payments.

A pastor must choose what vehicle deduction they prefer: a vehicle deduction using standard mileage rate or the business use percentage of actual costs. When it comes to vehicle deductions, pastors’ are encouraged to keep a mileage log for business… Continue reading

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