Tag Archive for clergy

Christmas Gifts To The Minister

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It is a tradition in many churches to give the ministerial staff a Christmas gift, or bonus at the end of the year. The IRS has some rules regarding the taxability of these gifts and it serves the church, the minister, and the members of the church to adhere to these rules so as to not run afoul of the IRS.

Many times, these Christmas gifts are considered by the church and the minister to be gifts, not compensation, and they are not included in the minister’s W-2 at the end of the year. It is a basic tenet of our tax law that a “gift” cannot be given to an employee, but is disguised compensation. The exception to this is that the employer may give a gift to an employee if the value is $25 or less and is not cash or a gift card. Thus, an employee may receive a small gift from the employer as long as the value is under the IRS limitation. Read more

Opting Out of Social Security For A Minister

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One of the tax options given to a minister is the ability to opt out of social security. This is a step that should be taken after a great deal of deliberation, as the decision is irrevocable. In order to opt out, the minister must file Form 4361 and certify that he or she opposes, either conscientiously or because of religious principles, the acceptance of any public insurance (with respect to services performed as a minister), including social security and Medicare coverage. Note that the objection is to the use of ministerial earnings for public insurance. Economic considerations or other non-religious reasons are not valid factors for opting out. Unfortunately, many likely opt out for economic reasons. Some faith groups actively promote opting out for their ministers.

The minister opts out only in relation to ministerial earnings. If he or she is employed in a Read more

TaxConnections – Referral Business Is Thriving For Our Members

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We get to see a lot of activity behind the scenes and one of them is the referral business to our members. What we have created is an innovative platform that offers a wide range of tax expertise that is not easy to find anywhere else but through TaxConnections Worldwide Directory of Tax Professionals. TaxConnections has brought together tax professionals from more than 75 countries with a wide range of tax knowledge and that range grows daily. Although the primary areas of expertise on our site include corporate, partnership and individual tax professionals, we also have some really unique areas of tax expertise on our site that even surprised us. We have members on our site who are tax advisors in adult entertainment, clergy, captive insurance companies, tax credits and incentives, FATCA, military and so much more. This makes us unique and a one-of-a-kind resource to locate tax Read more