Ministers Take Note: Tips for Properly Filing Your 2012 Taxes

It’s been said that there are two things in life that you can count on, death and taxes. If you’re a minister you’ve most likely got the first one covered, it’s the taxes that may cause some issues. Minister taxes can be somewhat complicated, so if you’ve been called to the ministry it may be a good idea to consider preparing your 2012 taxes early and to talk with a tax professional about the best ways to properly file your taxes. 

As a minister that earns income, you still have to file taxes with the IRS and the state that you currently reside in. It’s been reported that ministers are frequent targets of IRS audits due to discrepancies as a result of self-employment status and overall uncertainty as to how to properly report income tax for ministers. Therefore it’s important to be accurate and prompt especially if you’re a member of the clergy. Here are a few tips to ensure that your taxes are filed properly this year.

Keep accurate and meticulous records. As a minister you will likely receive money from various sources. If you are the pastor of a church, you will also receive a W-2 or 1099; use these as a guide when filing your taxes.

Keep track of all income for the previous year, this ensures that whatever you have been given as an income is verifiable.

Advise givers in your church to use an envelope provided by the church or to pay by check or credit card so that proper documentation can be made.

File income tax for ministers using the IRS 1040 form. In the taxable income category, enter the total amount of money that was made during the last year. In the deductions area include any expenses related to your ministry such as traveling expenses and office supplies. And make sure that you can verify these expenses with documentation or receipts.

Subtract deductions from your overall income and this should give you your overall taxable income. Furthermore you can use the chart provided by the IRS to decipher what taxes you owe. Make note of this amount and make the necessary arrangements to pay it by April 15.

By taking these tips into consideration you should be able to get your 2012 taxes under wraps easily, efficiently and promptly so that you can once again focus on ministering to others.

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Sarah Wozniak

Staff Writer, Page1 Online Marketing