Church & Clergy Taxes

The conference Administrative Services team urges clergy to be sure their tax preparers truly understand how to prepare clergy taxes.

Nate Berneking, director of Finance and Administration of the Missouri Conference, offers a helpful class on clergy and taxes. You can view his PowerPoint presentation at

The IRS has changed the forms for 2018 tax filing. Everyone will file a Form 1040 and may have to file one of the new Schedules 1 through 6. Clergy still will need to file the Schedule SE (for self-employment tax) and then will be recording the numbers on Schedule 4 of the Form 1040

Clergy and their tax preparers should understand Publication 517 – Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers 

The Great Plains Conference strongly urges clergy not to file an exemption from self-employment (SE) tax.

Some additional resources

Church & Clergy Tax Guide - This comprehensive guide by Richard R. Hammar includes information on charitable contributions, tax on unrelated business income, clergy employment tax status and housing exclusion, business expenses, church payroll reporting requirements and more. The guide can be purchased at

Health-care tax credit
A summary for local churches regarding the small business health-care tax credit contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is available from the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits. The summary contains examples and explanations and is meant to be an illustrative user’s guide.

General Council on Finance and Administration's (GCFA) tax packet
Download GCFA's clergy tax packet which includes:

  • Tax information for clergy
  • Tax information for churches
  • Business expenses and reimbursements

Other tax resources:

IRS and U.S. government

Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

View a video about understanding clergy compensation and taxes by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership.