Articles

"Not only will you know you’re handling everything right…you just might walk away saving a lot of money, too. "Nelson Searcy, The Journey Church, NYC

 

Information is Golden

These resources are the result of extensive research and experience.  We share them to help you learn about and use the many opportunities available to you. Discuss your situation with a qualified clergy advisor to implement the best strategies for you.

Church Treasurer Resources

Who should get a 1099?

Understand who should get a 1099 and when it’s appropriate. Chuck Trimble, CPA and Clergy Tax Veteran explains the basics to help you avoid problems and possible penalties. Watch this Video »

Make Designated Giving Tax Deductible

Deductible or Not, “That is the question….” Steve explains the concept of designated contributions to individuals and how they can be made tax-deductible to the donor(s).

Churches, Nonprofits, and the Form 990

Who Files a Form 990? Listen while Chuck Trimble, CPA, briefly clarifies who and when it’s appropriate to file an IRS Form 990. We see a lot of confusion for many churches and individuals on this issue. Let Chuck explain it to you and clear the air. If you have more questions, let us know... View Article

Gifts vs. Income

Steve Merriman, EA provides the basic difference between, “Ministers’ Gifts versus Income”. He explains briefly how the IRS defines a gift and when it can be taxable. He also provides some guidlines as to when and if a gift needs to be reported on a W-2. Watch this Video »

Accurate W-2’s Save Time and Money

Listen to Chuck Trimble, CPA at Clergy Advantage, as he shares some quick tips to spot inaccurate W-2’s as we move into tax season. Watch this Video »

Clergy Taxes – Contributions other than Cash or Checks

Many non profits and churches struggle  with how to properly handle contributions of a non- cash nature. It certainly can be a confusing subject.   Here’s the way it stands right now. How do we (the church or non-profit) handle non-cash contributions? When a church receives non-cash contributions, such as food supplies, vehicles, stock, etc. the church may provide... View Article

Tax Withholding for Clergy

Ministers working for churches are treated differently than other employees when it comes to tax withholding.  One major difference is Social Security and Medicare taxes. Ministers are required to pay Social Security Self-Employment tax if they have not opted out. Social Security is probably the biggest tax most ministers’ pay and an area of great confusion.  Register... View Article

Clergy Advantage 403(b) Retirement Plan

Financial

Risk or Volatility?

  How should we view “Risk” in investing? Before you answer, let’s define Risk, being careful not to confuse it with Volatility.  The truth is, ups and downs of the market are volatility. They are normal and to be expected.  This roller coaster effect feels like risk and looks like risk.  But in reality, it is typical, normal volatility and nothing... View Article

403(b) Contribution Limits Have Increased

As of September 2017, the limit for salary deferred contributions to your 403(b) is now up to $18,000 for those under age 50 and is at $24,000 for those over 50. The total limit including employer contributions can up to $60,000 in some cases. Call or click here to learn more or to develop a... View Article

Housing Allowance

Housing Allowance and Your MAGI

Listen to our Tax Advisor, Chuck Trimble: What is Your True MAGI? There seems to be a lot of confusion about how to calculate your MAGI. That is your “Modified-Adjusted-Gross Income” and it’s the magic number that will determine your health insurance payments and federal subsidy eligibility for next year. Chuck explains what it is and how to... View Article

Setting the Right Housing Allowance

The amount designated for your Housing Allowance can have a dramatic impact on your tax savings. Chuck Trimble, CPA, addresses common mis-conceptions about how much you can or should designate. Watch this Video »

Buying or Selling a Home using Housing Strategies

4 Great Housing Allowance Strategies you must know! Zan Pensack-Rinehart, CFP shares 4 Incredible ways you can use your ministry Housing Allowance. Not only are they often overlooked, they’re real powerhouses of savings. (Pardon the pun). This valuable info is a little more than 2 minutes, but worth it. File it for future and feel... View Article

Multiple Residences and Housing Allowance

by Steve Merriman, EA The Appeals Court ruled on the Driscoll case (CA 11 2/8/2012) 109 AFTR 2d, regarding housing allowance deductions on multiple residencesstipulating that the clergy housing allowance can only be used for a primary residence and no more than one residence at a time. The Appeals Court reversed the Tax Court decision that allowed... View Article

Overlooked Charitable Contributions tax deductions

Listed below are some frequently overlooked tax deductions that might help reduce your tax bill.  Please remember that  whenever we talk about taxes, the following caveats apply:  “It depends,” and “these deductions may not apply to all taxpayers.” If you have any questions about these or any other tax-related matters, please let us know.  We... View Article

The Clergy Tax Puzzle

Not utilizing all of your tax benefits could be costing you thousands of dollars in unnecessary taxes every year. Don’t be a tax casualty and  keep your housing allowance benefits for life.    Transform the way you use your tax benefits. View our free video, “Tax Free Money for Ministers“ or register for “Why An Accountable Plan.” By breaking the puzzle... View Article

Working After Retirement May Affect Your Benefits

  Ministers often work beyond the “normal” retirement age. Extending your work life can affect your taxes and retirement benefits. Earnings limit. If you’re working, you probably should forgo the early payment option. Benefits received before full retirement age will be reduced by $1 for every $2 earned over an annual limit (currently $14,160). However,... View Article

Clergy Housing Allowance Answers

If you’re puzzled about some aspect of  your housing allowance or clergy tax situation you are not alone.  Find all that you should know about one of your greatest tax advantages, Housing Allowance, in a free, concise video,  “Ministers Housing Allowance.” In the mean time, here are a few of the top questions we get about... View Article

The Three Biggest Tax Savings for Ministers, Continued

By Steve Merriman, E.A. Another area that is so important to ministers’ tax is Ministerial Expenses in an Accountable Reimbursement plan.  The theory with an Accountable plan is to get reimbursed on all ministerial expenses on a tax-free fringe benefit basis. There are six huge advantages to this; perhaps the biggest is that it properly... View Article

The Three Biggest Tax Savings for Ministers

By Steve Merriman, E.A The three “biggies” that all ministers need to maximize for the greatest tax savings are: Housing Allowance Clergy Advantage  Retirement Plan or a denominational 403(b) Ministry Business Expenses Get these three right and you’re pretty much there. The first area is housing allowance: Congress clearly intends ministers to exclude all expenses... View Article

Successful Investing

Risk or Volatility?

  How should we view “Risk” in investing? Before you answer, let’s define Risk, being careful not to confuse it with Volatility.  The truth is, ups and downs of the market are volatility. They are normal and to be expected.  This roller coaster effect feels like risk and looks like risk.  But in reality, it is typical, normal volatility and nothing... View Article

What Ministry Expenses Can Do

Importance of Entertainment Expenses

What are ministry business expenses? Internal Revenue Code Section 162(a) states, “There shall be allowed as a deduction all the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business.” • An expense is ordinary and necessary if it is customary or usual within a particular trade,... View Article

Two Great Ways to offset your Biggest Tax

Steve Merriman asserts that most ministers don’t recognize their biggest tax liability. He discusses what that generally is and explains two powerful stategies to reduce it. Watch this Video »

Overlooked Charitable Contributions tax deductions

Listed below are some frequently overlooked tax deductions that might help reduce your tax bill.  Please remember that  whenever we talk about taxes, the following caveats apply:  “It depends,” and “these deductions may not apply to all taxpayers.” If you have any questions about these or any other tax-related matters, please let us know.  We... View Article

The Incredible Value of an Accountable Plan for Ministers

Without resorting to fear mongering, I’d like to address the all too real vulnerability that many ministers have for audit potential.  One of these areas of potential problems is also such  a strong area of benefit to the minister’s personal well being and church growth that it behooves closer examination: That is the correct accounting... View Article

Mixing Business with Pleasure can be good for you and your pocket book.

Tax breaks are available for travelers who mix a bit of pleasure with their business travel Businesspeople or ministers who must travel for work reasons should keep in mind that they may be able to qualify for a travel bargain by piggybacking a vacation onto an out-of-town business trip. In effect, the business traveler gets... View Article

The Clergy Tax Puzzle

Not utilizing all of your tax benefits could be costing you thousands of dollars in unnecessary taxes every year. Don’t be a tax casualty and  keep your housing allowance benefits for life.    Transform the way you use your tax benefits. View our free video, “Tax Free Money for Ministers“ or register for “Why An Accountable Plan.” By breaking the puzzle... View Article

The Three Biggest Tax Savings for Ministers, Continued

By Steve Merriman, E.A. Another area that is so important to ministers’ tax is Ministerial Expenses in an Accountable Reimbursement plan.  The theory with an Accountable plan is to get reimbursed on all ministerial expenses on a tax-free fringe benefit basis. There are six huge advantages to this; perhaps the biggest is that it properly... View Article

The Three Biggest Tax Savings for Ministers

By Steve Merriman, E.A The three “biggies” that all ministers need to maximize for the greatest tax savings are: Housing Allowance Clergy Advantage  Retirement Plan or a denominational 403(b) Ministry Business Expenses Get these three right and you’re pretty much there. The first area is housing allowance: Congress clearly intends ministers to exclude all expenses... View Article

Missionaries Special Situation

Missionaries Lazy Tax Return

Many Missionaries Pay too much tax Steve Merriman quickly explains why and how so many missionaries are paying more tax than they should. He shares some often overlooked ways to make sure you’re not one of them. Watch this Video »

Chuck Missionary Tax Tips

Foreign Income Exclusions, Social Security and Self Employment Tax laws are complicated and confusing. Chuck Trimble, CPA discusses some key areas for tax savings and compliance that are often misunderstood. Watch this Video »

Retirement for Ministers Only

Two Great Ways to offset your Biggest Tax

Steve Merriman asserts that most ministers don’t recognize their biggest tax liability. He discusses what that generally is and explains two powerful stategies to reduce it. Watch this Video »

Clergy Retirement Tax Savings

Zan Pensack-Rinehart offers key strategies for ministers that can reduce Social Security liability and provide significant tax savings. Watch this Video »

403(b) Contribution Limits Have Increased

As of September 2017, the limit for salary deferred contributions to your 403(b) is now up to $18,000 for those under age 50 and is at $24,000 for those over 50. The total limit including employer contributions can up to $60,000 in some cases. Call or click here to learn more or to develop a... View Article

New Tax Provisions for Roth IRA Conversions

  Who should look at a Roth IRA Conversion? Perhaps you should take a look at the benefits of converting some or all of a regular IRA into a Roth, particularly if you’re a married minister or in a high or low tax bracket.  Many ministers in the 0% tax bracket don’t realize they are because of... View Article

Working After Retirement May Affect Your Benefits

  Ministers often work beyond the “normal” retirement age. Extending your work life can affect your taxes and retirement benefits. Earnings limit. If you’re working, you probably should forgo the early payment option. Benefits received before full retirement age will be reduced by $1 for every $2 earned over an annual limit (currently $14,160). However,... View Article

The Three Biggest Tax Savings for Ministers, Continued

By Steve Merriman, E.A. Another area that is so important to ministers’ tax is Ministerial Expenses in an Accountable Reimbursement plan.  The theory with an Accountable plan is to get reimbursed on all ministerial expenses on a tax-free fringe benefit basis. There are six huge advantages to this; perhaps the biggest is that it properly... View Article

The Three Biggest Tax Savings for Ministers

By Steve Merriman, E.A The three “biggies” that all ministers need to maximize for the greatest tax savings are: Housing Allowance Clergy Advantage  Retirement Plan or a denominational 403(b) Ministry Business Expenses Get these three right and you’re pretty much there. The first area is housing allowance: Congress clearly intends ministers to exclude all expenses... View Article

Social Security & Ministers

Two Great Ways to offset your Biggest Tax

Steve Merriman asserts that most ministers don’t recognize their biggest tax liability. He discusses what that generally is and explains two powerful stategies to reduce it. Watch this Video »

Social Security Tax Increase

Two Minute Tax Tip from Steve Merriman You’ve no doubt already heard that taxes are going up. Housing Allowance expert, Steve Merriman, shares how ministers can more than compensate for the recent Social Security Tax increases. Watch this Video »

Social Security Tax for Ministers

Social Security can be many ministers biggest tax liability. Two things will help significantly to reduce social security tax for all ministers who have not opted out: Properly using your Accountable Plan and using the correct kind of  403(b) retirement plan with strategies to help reduce the amount of Social Security tax you pay or... View Article

How to Set Social Security Allowance for Ministers

Ministers or church leaders often wonder how to figure the amount of the Social Security Allowance.  The IRS does not require churches to pay a Social Security Allowance to its minister staff and provides no guidance on how to structure it. We suggest that the amount be set at whatever the church would be paying... View Article

Tax Withholding for Clergy

Ministers working for churches are treated differently than other employees when it comes to tax withholding.  One major difference is Social Security and Medicare taxes. Ministers are required to pay Social Security Self-Employment tax if they have not opted out. Social Security is probably the biggest tax most ministers’ pay and an area of great confusion.  Register... View Article


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