We understand that preparing your taxes can be complicated with the different tax provisions for clergy. To assist you, the following resources and on-call experts are available to provide information. We recommend that you discuss specifics with a tax or financial advisor familiar with your specific situation.
What does the recent United States District Court ruling regarding clergy housing allowance mean for Episcopal clergy?
This decision has no immediate impact because it is not yet effective. The U.S. District Court specifically ruled that its decision would not be effective until all appeals are resolved. The Wisconsin court’s ruling was recently appealed and it will take some time for the Court of Appeals to reach its decision. It is also quite possible that the decision by the Court of Appeals, whether it agrees or disagrees with the Wisconsin court, would be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. We will continue to monitor this case closely. In the meantime, the tax benefit enjoyed by many of our clergy remains unchanged.
As a member of The Church Alliance, a coalition of 38 church benefit programs, we plan to participate in the amicus curiae brief being prepared by the Alliance, and also will coordinate our efforts with representatives of The Episcopal Church.
The Wisconsin decision has no impact on situations where a church actually provides a rectory or similar church-owned housing for a cleric because it does not affect the ability of the cleric to continue to exclude from income the rental value of that home.
2013 Tax Forms and Resources
- The 2014 Clergy Tax Guide (for 2013 Tax Returns)
- State Tax Withholding on Benefit Payments1
- CPF State Withholding Form W-4P
- Federal Income Tax Withholding Form W4P
1Note: An important form for survivors.
Matthew Chew, CPA
Former trustee of The Church Pension Fund
The Rev. Canon William Geisler, CPA
Regular lecturer on clergy and church tax issues
Please note that this service provides information, not personal tax advice. If you need advice or help preparing your tax returns, you may wish to ask your diocese to refer a CPA or tax advisor in your area who is knowledgeable about clergy taxes.