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Ministers' Tax Guide

Ministerial tax issues can be complicated. GuideStone wants to serve those who serve the Lord by providing these resources to help answer the most common tax-related issues affecting ministers and churches.

Ministers' Tax Guide for 2017 Returns

This 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 contains a special supplement addressing the current status of the housing allowance exclusions. Additionally, church treasurers and other church leaders will find a valuable resource in the guide’s special section about important federal requirements for churches.

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Single File: Tax Return Preparation Guide

Download the Ministers' Tax Guide

Section 1: Special Supplement, Intro & Special Rules for Ministers

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President's message

Table of Contents

Special supplement: Current status of the housing allowance exclusions

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Special rules for ministers

Section 2: Step-by-Step Tax Return Preparation: Form 1040

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Part 3: Step-by-step tax return preparation

Form 1040

Section 3: Other Forms and Schedules

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Schedules A, B, C, C-EZ, SE

Form 2106 and Form 2106-EZ

Section 4: Comprehensive Examples and Sample Forms

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Example one: Active minister

  • Comprehensive explanation

  • Sample forms

Example two: Retired minister

  • Comprehensive explanation

  • Sample forms

Section 5: Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches

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Find IRS forms, instructions and publications on the IRS web site or call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

Additional Resources

Tax Reform Analysis

On December 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law the $1.5 trillion, 1,097-page Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In brief, the Act amends the Internal Revenue Code to reduce tax rates and modify credits and deductions for individuals and businesses. Noted tax and legal author, Richard Hammar, provides a 26-page analysis of how the new legislation will affect churches and church staff.

Download the analysis

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 to ensure compliance with unique IRS regulations.

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Social Security

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 a well 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.

Read the article

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.

Find out more

Ministers' Housing Allowance Questions and Answers

The ministers' housing allowance is the most 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 24 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. CST Monday–Friday. You can also email us at info@GuideStone.org.