Render to ceasar that which is ceasar!!!!

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Holy IRS

Lexington, KY

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#1
Feb 4, 2014
 

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I hear a lot about rendering unto God that which is God's. So be it. But do preachers have to render unto the Government taxes on what they get from a church? I have always heard that it is a love gift and they don't have to pay taxes on it. Is this true?
preachers love gift

Alexandria, VA

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#2
Feb 4, 2014
 

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If a preacher is on the draw or disabled, do they have to pay IRS taxes on the love givft?
preachers love gift

Alexandria, VA

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#3
Feb 4, 2014
 

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what if they get a free house, do they have to pay taxes on that???
Kay

Barbourville, KY

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Feb 5, 2014
 

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Call it a love gift, honorarium, or whatever you want but a preacher getting paid is a preacher earning income. And the "I" in IRS stands for "Income". Yes, I know that it is Internal Revenue Service but their concern is income so it might just as well be the Income Revenue Service.

Only difference in a preacher being paid by the church and the janitor at the church being paid is the IRS considers the preacher self employed while the janitor is an employee.

Now if you want advice about what is taxable and what isn't, the first thing to do is to ignore all the experts here and go find someone who actually knows something about the regulations. The IRS ain't going to buy "but they told me on Topix I didn't need to pay taxes". And the IRS doesn't care that you're a minister. They want their cut from your income same as they do from me.

As to a preacher "on the draw or disabled" who hasn't reported that "love gift" you may be OK if you only got a single payment as a guest preacher but if you're getting regularly paid for being a preacher I think the agency making those welfare or disability payments will be interested in knowing it as well as the IRS. If you've told them you do not have a job or that you cannot hold a job because of a disability and you are getting paid to preach you are probably guilty of fraud.

There's an old saying -- the only thing certain is death and taxes. Get in trouble with the government over not paying your taxes and you'll wish you were dead.
Holy IRS

Lexington, KY

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Feb 5, 2014
 

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Kay wrote:
Call it a love gift, honorarium, or whatever you want but a preacher getting paid is a preacher earning income. And the "I" in IRS stands for "Income". Yes, I know that it is Internal Revenue Service but their concern is income so it might just as well be the Income Revenue Service.
Only difference in a preacher being paid by the church and the janitor at the church being paid is the IRS considers the preacher self employed while the janitor is an employee.
Now if you want advice about what is taxable and what isn't, the first thing to do is to ignore all the experts here and go find someone who actually knows something about the regulations. The IRS ain't going to buy "but they told me on Topix I didn't need to pay taxes". And the IRS doesn't care that you're a minister. They want their cut from your income same as they do from me.
As to a preacher "on the draw or disabled" who hasn't reported that "love gift" you may be OK if you only got a single payment as a guest preacher but if you're getting regularly paid for being a preacher I think the agency making those welfare or disability payments will be interested in knowing it as well as the IRS. If you've told them you do not have a job or that you cannot hold a job because of a disability and you are getting paid to preach you are probably guilty of fraud.
There's an old saying -- the only thing certain is death and taxes. Get in trouble with the government over not paying your taxes and you'll wish you were dead.
OMG! You mean my Janitor in the church has to pay taxes on the $250 a month that we pay them? The Preacher has to pay Federal tax and Self employment tax of Social Security and Medicare and State on his salary of 1200 a month. I thought we had separation of church and state. I thought that the church was tax exempt. What if he is audited would they come after the church over the janitor? This could be a mess.
rufus fudpucker

Graham, WA

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Feb 5, 2014
 

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Holy IRS wrote:
<quoted text>
OMG! You mean my Janitor in the church has to pay taxes on the $250 a month that we pay them? The Preacher has to pay Federal tax and Self employment tax of Social Security and Medicare and State on his salary of 1200 a month. I thought we had separation of church and state. I thought that the church was tax exempt. What if he is audited would they come after the church over the janitor? This could be a mess.
The Church is tax exempt, but not the people that are employed there.
Kay

Barbourville, KY

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#7
Feb 6, 2014
 

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Holy IRS wrote:
<quoted text>
OMG! You mean my Janitor in the church has to pay taxes on the $250 a month that we pay them? The Preacher has to pay Federal tax and Self employment tax of Social Security and Medicare and State on his salary of 1200 a month. I thought we had separation of church and state. I thought that the church was tax exempt. What if he is audited would they come after the church over the janitor? This could be a mess.
There is such a thing as separation of church and state but there is no separation of earnings and the IRS. If you have earned money the IRS wants its cut. And yes you could get audited. And absolutely it will be a mess if you get audited.

Churches are not exempt from the rules and regulations other businesses face. I have heard the Labor Cabinet came around last year and found several churches in violation of the required postings concerning labor laws in the work place and were facing fines. Several years back the state fire marshal came around inspecting them and several had to make corrections. Make no mistake -- a church is a business. If not operated in a business like manner it will fail regardless of its strength of faith.

Has your church actually received tax exempt status from the IRS? Do you have an actual letter stating you are tax exempt or are you just assuming you are exempt because you are a church? If not, the donations to the church are taxable to the church and the people who have donated and taken deductions for those donations could face issues with the IRS. If you have actually received that determination then the church is not subject to income tax on money it takes in -- generally speaking. Some activities can result in a requirement to pay taxes on some income derived by the church. However, the people who are paid by the church are still subject to income taxes just like anyone else -- federal, state, and county. Don't forget that several counties have a payroll tax.

Before you start listening to how the IRS wouldn't dare go after a church, keep in mind that nobody likes the IRS as it is. Why would they worry about somebody not liking them because they went after a church or a preacher?

Your post title is from Jesus' command that we are to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Our Caesar -- the IRS -- determines what is to be rendered unto them. It doesn't matter whether you like it or not. Lots of people didn't like what Caesar determined they were to render unto him but Jesus still told them to do so.

I'll repeat what I said earlier -- GET THEE TO A TAX EXPERT AND QUIT TRYING TO GET TAX ADVICE FROM THE PEOPLE ON TOPIX! The people here will simply help you dig a deeper hole than you already have.
Holy IRS

Lexington, KY

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#8
Feb 6, 2014
 

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Kay you seem very intelligent about these matters. I would never take your advice or topix advice when it comes to taxes and the IRS. I am glad you gave this insight to this though. It would be awful to be in trouble with the IRS and not know it was wrong to avoid paying taxes. About a tax exempt # we don't have to pay taxes on what we buy at the church. We have that #. I hope that is the thing you are talking about. I had always heard that preachers are not employees but I guess what you said they are. I guess that is part of that Mark of the Beast thing that the Government can one day just come right in and take down all the preachers that are not paying taxes. They might have to do like some of the apostles preach from the jails.I guess when you try to save a dollar and sign the paper to IRS you just fell into the pit. I will look on the IRS web site for more info besides looking on here. I think they would have what we need to know. Thank you again for your thoughts you are very kind to answer this without being very rude like some on this thing.
under da table preacher

Alexandria, VA

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#9
Feb 6, 2014
 

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Kay, you apparently have some knowledge on this subject. I will take a look at the IRS website. However, i have two points/questions. 1. What about the parsenages that churches provide for pastors??? Is that taxable income too? 2. There is NO SUCH THING as seperation of church and state! The whole concept stems from a letter that pres Tom Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists. Otherwise, there are no government documents that explicityly say there is a seperation of church and state. The idea was meant to keep the state out of the church but not the church out of the state. This was once a great Christian nation, with Christian leaders. 3. What could happen to a pastor if they are NOT reporting their salary?
Kay

Barbourville, KY

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#10
Feb 6, 2014
 

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For under the table preacher -- I'm don't know enough about the tax laws to give definitive answers but I would think the fair rental value of a parsonage would be taxable to the preacher if provided at no charge or at less that fair market value. If they didn't provide it he would have to pay rent to someone so that free rent would seem to be income. Talk to the tax experts and find out for sure.

There may be no official separation of church and state but it is a part of any of the discussions about the church and state relationship. That's why you keep hearing the phrase come up. Jefferson's letter is an indication of the intent of the founding fathers just as other writings of the founding fathers have been used to clarify their intent rather than our interpretation 200+ years later. A more factual statement on my part would have been that there MAY be a separation of church and state.

Anybody who has not paid taxes is subject to the full force of the laws of the United States as pertains to income taxes. Preachers are not exempt from that. Depending on how egregious the violation and the level of cooperation will depend on how severe the penalties can be. People say that the rich and famous get away everything but Wesley Snipes just got out of prison (3 years?) for failing to pay taxes. People have tried claiming the income tax law is unconstitutional using various arguments and refused to pay taxes on that basis. Some have gone to jail for it while other were just fined. Depends on the situation. Only the IRS and/or judge can answer that and then only for a specific case after it is adjudicated. Before that they can only talk about the range of possible penalties if any. Again, talk to the tax experts.

For Holy IRS -- Since the church has a sales tax exemption number then they should be OK with the IRS since I believe to get sales tax exemption you have to have the IRS determination to do so. As for preachers being exempt, why should they be when others aren't? Sure they do good for the people. Teachers do good work. So do cops. So doctors and nurses. If your car is broken down, that mechanic that fixed it did good work. If someone's work has value they should be paid enough for that work to live on and that includes paying the taxes. But that's my opinion. Whether you agree or not that preachers should have to pay tax doesn't matter. The reality is that it is the current law of the land. And as the kids say, reality bites.
under da table preacher

Alexandria, VA

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Feb 6, 2014
 

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kay you have really got me wondering. If a pastor is not willing to abide with Scripture and do as Christ said and render unto ceasar what is ceasars, then is that same pastor denying Scripture? Is that same pastor lying to the government? If they deny Scripture and lying to the government, then how can their congregation trust them? Kay, would it be a good idea or legal for the congregation to ask the pastor to show them his tax returns or prove that he did indeed pay taxes on his church derived salaries?
under da table preacher

Alexandria, VA

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#12
Feb 6, 2014
 

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If a pastor had been operating under the table, when should he tell the IRS? How far back should should he go, this year, last year, 5 years ago?
Kay

Barbourville, KY

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Feb 6, 2014
 

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I haven't meant to suggest that a preacher not paying taxes was purposely violating the law. It seems to be a common misconception that they are exempt. I hope it didn't come across that I was making that accusation. Now if they aren't paying taxes when they know they should be doing so, that is a completely different issue. If it became known he wasn't paying and knew he should I would probably have enough issues with that to deem it necessary to find another faith leader.

I would not, however, be inclined to make the pastor show me his returns or even ask about them. If my employer demanded to see my returns I would tell him it's none of his business. I don't know if it's legal or not to ask but I certainly don't feel like it is any employer's right to demand that. I might rethink that if the preacher were going around bragging about not paying and then saying he was really paying when he's called on it by his church. One of his stories isn't true. But then just the fact that one of his stories is a public lie is enough to call into doubt his continued ability to be a spiritual leader.

As for when and how far back should an under the table preacher fess up to the IRS, how completely would that preacher expect his congregation to fess up to God? In one case we're talking about money while in the other we're talking about souls. If I fess up to having cheated on my spouse last Thursday but don't fess up to the several other times and other people I cheated with have I really earned forgiveness from God or my spouse?

Of course forgiveness is a lot easier to get from God than it is from the IRS.
so-so

Mount Vernon, KY

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#14
Feb 6, 2014
 

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If a preacher's money is a donation from others, he really has not charged for his services. It is a gift to him.

In 2014 you can receive gifts of money up to $14,000 before having to pay tax on it.
under da table preacher

Alexandria, VA

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Feb 7, 2014
 

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Very good insight Kay.

So-So, please provide a reference or link to where we "under da tables" can take a look becuase this will help a little. I recieve a substantial, "gift" every week.
Holy IRS

Lexington, KY

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Feb 7, 2014
 

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Gifts from individual can be considered non-taxable if it is motivated by "love and affection." In order to be certain that such payments will be tax-free, all the conditions below must be met. Gifts received from the church are generally considered taxable income, i.e. Christmas or holiday bonus, compensation incentives, fee for performing weddings, funerals, and baptisms, etc.
•love offerings cannot be solicited
•are not conditioned on further services
•must be spontaneous in nature
•must be clearly ascertainable as a gift with no service attached
•cannot qualify as a tax deduction for the donor
•are motivated out of affection of an individual for another individual

This info is from CLERGY FINANCIAL RESOURCES
http://www.clergytaxnet.com/Clergy%20Tax%20Fa...
Holy IRS

Lexington, KY

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Feb 7, 2014
 

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Man Kay, You were so right. The IRS has a world of info on Ministers and church employees on their site. Topic 417 of the IRS rules brought a light to the whole question about taxable income on people who get money from the church. Thank you Thank you,
Pastors Obey Scripture

London, KY

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Feb 7, 2014
 

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thanks Holy IRS, 417 says, If you are a minister performing ministerial services, all of your earnings, including wages, offerings, and fees you receive for performing marriages, baptisms, funerals, etc., are subject to income tax, regardless of whether you earn the amount as an employee or self-employed person.......Pastors, you better start obeying Scripture. Sorry So-So but you got it ALL WRONG!
yes sir

Chicago, IL

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#19
Feb 7, 2014
 

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Amen
under da table preacher

Alexandria, VA

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#20
Feb 10, 2014
 

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Hypotethically speaking, let's say i am a pastor who is on disability; yet, i receive a substantial weekly check for my services performed at my church and i also receive an alotment for my housing, and cell phone bill? Why should i pay anything to our government for the love gifts that my church gives me???

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