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Church and Christian Ministry Compensation Concepts B y Corey A. Pfaffe, CPA, PhD, Spring 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Church and Christian Ministry Compensation Concepts B y Corey A. Pfaffe, CPA, PhD, Spring 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Church and Christian Ministry Compensation Concepts B y Corey A. Pfaffe, CPA, PhD, Spring 2010

2 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

3 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

4 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

5 Assumptions Typical Minister’s Annual Form W-2 $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

6 Assumptions Typical Minister’s Annual Form W-2 $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

7 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

8 Housing Allowance Principal residence Three-part test –Actual expenses –Designated amount –Fair rental value, plus actual cost of utilities Partial reduction of deductible expenses

9 Retirement Plan Options Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b) plans Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) Roth IRAs (and Roth 403(b) plans)

10 Health Benefits for Ministers Health insurance Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

11 Professional Expenses Travel—car, airplane Lodging and meals Materials Entertainment

12 Opting Out of Social Security 15.3% SECA; not 7.65% FICA Requirements Caution!

13 For more information... Non-profit organization accounting principles Compensation practices Benevolent activities Contributions issues Foreign missions support Ministerial tax planning


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