Ministers’ Tax Guide
Ministerial tax issues can be complicated. GuideStone® wants to help make it easier!
As a part of our commitment to serving those who serve the Lord®, we are excited to once again provide our churches, ministries and individual participants with resources to help answer the most common tax-related questions and issues.
2021 Ministers’ Tax Guide for 2020 Returns
Our popular annual tax guide, written by Richard Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA, includes sample tax returns for both active and retired ministers and step-by-step instructions for each. This edition accounts for the tax-related effects from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March 2020. Additionally, church treasurers and other church leaders will find a valuable resource in the guide’s special section about important federal reporting requirements for churches at the end of the publication.
Choose a Version to Download
Download Part 1: Introduction
- How to Use This Guide
- Tax Highlights for 2020
- Preliminary Questions
Download Part 2: Special Rules for Ministers
- Who is a minister for federal tax purposes?
- Are ministers employees or self-employed for federal tax purposes?
- Exemption from SECA
- How do ministers pay their taxes?
Download Part 3: Step-by-Step Tax Return Preparation
- Tax Forms and Schedules (Definitions)
- Form 1040 (Steps)
- Other Forms and Schedules (Steps)
- Schedules A, B, C, SE, Form 8959 Additional Medicare Tax, Form 2106
Download Part 4: Comprehensive Examples and Sample Forms
Example One: Active Minister
- Sample Forms: (Forms W-2 (Church and College), Form 1040, Schedule 1, Schedule 2 Schedule A, Schedule C, Schedule SE, QBI Deduction (Form 8995), Tax return attachments
Example Two: Retired Minister
- Sample Forms: (Form 1099-R from GuideStone, Form 1040, Schedule 1, Schedule 2, Schedule C, Schedule SE, tax return attachments)
Find IRS forms, instructions and publications at IRS.gov or call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).
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Ministerial Tax Issues
There are multiple tax rules that apply only to ministers and churches. This specialized booklet is written in an easy-to-understand question-and-answer format. It will prove to be a valuable resource for those who are Ministers for Tax Purposes.
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Opting out of Social Security is not a decision you should take lightly, which is why GuideStone is here to provide the detailed and accurate information you need to make an informed choice.
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Is it ethical for ministers to opt out of Social Security? Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, shares insight for those considering this critical decision.
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Compensation Planning Guide
As a church, you have a responsibility to take care of those who serve you while seeking to be good stewards of your limited financial resources. This workbook can help you achieve that goal. It is designed for use by the person(s) who determines pay arrangements for ministers and other church employees.
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Minister's Housing Allowance Questions and Answers
The ministers' housing allowance is a very important tax benefit available to ministers. Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code allows ”ministers of the gospel” to exclude some or all of their ministerial income designated by their church or church-related employer as a housing allowance from income for federal income tax purposes. Read more about the rules and limits.
Find Answers to 25 Commonly Asked Questions Here
We’re always here for assistance or to answer any questions you may have. Contact us at 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433) between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday–Friday. You can also email us at info@GuideStone.org.