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Church and Christian Ministry Compensation Concepts. B y Corey A. Pfaffe, CPA, PhD, Spring 2010. Employee or Independent Contractor. Who is an employee and who is not? You can ask the IRS, if you wish Typical church employees pastors office and facilities staff

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Church and christian ministry compensation concepts l.jpg

Church and Christian Ministry CompensationConcepts

B y Corey A. Pfaffe, CPA, PhD, Spring 2010


Employee or independent contractor l.jpg

Employee or Independent Contractor

  • Who is an employee and who is not?

  • You can ask the IRS, if you wish

  • Typical church employees

    • pastors

    • office and facilities staff

  • Typical church independent contractors

    • janitorial and snow removal service companies

    • accounting/bookkeeping service firms


According to the irs who is a minister and what difference does it make l.jpg

According to the IRS, who is a minister? And, what difference does it make?

  • A minister is an individual who is a “duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church” [and other 501(c)(3) religious organizations] who performs services “in the exercise of his ministry.”

  • Dual Status


It makes a big difference to be both an employee and a self employed person l.jpg

It makes a big difference to be both an employee and a self-employed person!

  • Eligible for all employee benefit provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, the most common are:

    • Health care plans

    • Retirement plans

  • 7.65% FICA tax withholding replaced with personal responsibility for 15.3% SE tax

  • Federal and state income tax withholding optional

  • Form 1040-ES


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Typical Minister’s Annual Form W-2

Assumptions

$35,000Cash salary

30,000Housing allowance designation

(6,000)Minister’s 403(b) plan elective deferral

(5,000)Pastor’s optional federal and state

income tax withholding

$54,000Net amount paid to minister


Typical minister s annual form w 26 l.jpg

Typical Minister’s Annual Form W-2

Assumptions

$35,000Cash salary

30,000Housing allowance designation

(6,000)Minister’s 403(b) plan elective deferral

(5,000)Pastor’s optional federal and state

income tax withholding

$54,000Net amount paid to minister


Typical minister s annual form w 27 l.jpg

Typical Minister’s Annual Form W-2

$35,000 Cash salary

30,000 Housing allowance designation

(6,000) Minister’s 403(b) plan elective deferral

(5,000) Pastor’s optional federal & state tax withholding

$54,000 Net amount paid to minister

  • Accountable plan for professional expense reimbursements

  • Health insurance premiums and other qualified health benefits

  • Employer contributions to 403(b) plan

Irrelevant items


Housing allowance l.jpg

Housing Allowance

  • Principal residence

  • Three-part test

    • Actual expenses

    • Designated amount

    • Fair rental value, plus actual cost of utilities

  • Partial reduction of deductible expenses


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Retirement Plan Options

  • Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b) plans

  • Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

  • Roth IRAs (and Roth 403(b) plans)


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Health Benefits for Ministers

  • Health insurance

  • Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs)

  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)


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Professional Expenses

  • Travel—car, airplane

  • Lodging and meals

  • Materials

  • Entertainment


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Opting Out of Social Security

  • 15.3% SECA; not 7.65% FICA

  • Requirements

  • Caution!


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For more information...

  • Non-profit organization accounting principles

  • Compensation practices

  • Benevolent activities

  • Contributions issues

  • Foreign missions support

  • Ministerial tax planning

http://www.ministrycpa.blogspot.com/


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