4 Tax Tips for Ministers…

Its that time of the year again, Tax Time! Many people dread it, mostimages are simply happy when it is over. In ministry, we have several unique factors to our taxes that many of us struggle with. At MinistryPlace.Net, we are here to be a help to those serving in ministry, so we have compiled 4 tips that will help make your taxes a little less painful…

1) Seek to have a working understanding of the special status that ministers have with both Taxes and Social Security.  This is a huge source of a lot of ministerial headaches. This post from Guidestone has some great info on Ministers and Social Security. They also have a Tax guide for 2014 returns here. These resources answer some of the questions about whether ministers should pay FICA taxes, when a W-2 is correct, and what ministerial work requires a  Form 1099.

2) Have many open conversations with both your church leadership and your tax professional about taxes and Social Security numbers.  Many church tax issues boil down to a lack of communication. Example: The church assumes you are paying quarterly estimated taxes like the other self-employed individuals in the church,  and you assume that they are with-holding taxes. This would result in a costly miscommunication.

3) Make use of a tax professional that understands the difference between business tax law and church tax law. Tax codes relation to churches and ministers are complex. If you elect to use someone to prepare your taxes, make sure they understand the differences.  It can save you a lot of headaches and dollars later.

4) Pay attention to your pay stub. If you use direct deposit, make sure to get a paper copy of the pay stub often. If you have many of these to refer back to, you can quickly track down discrepancies in your pay. it can also be a great help in the conversations I mentioned in point #2.

There you have our four simple tips for Ministerial taxes. What tips would you add to this list?

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