skip to Main Content

Tax Relief for Clergy

Under the parsonage allowance, provided in the tax code since 1921, an ordained minister may live tax-free in a home owned by his or her religious organization or receive a tax-free annual payment to buy or rent a home, if the congregation approves. In a 7-6 ruling, the US Tax Court recently ruled that Phil Driscoll, a minister in Tenn., was right in applying the parsonage allowance to his second home (as well as to his first home). The court ruled that the parsonage allowance may apply to an unlimited number of homes. Laura Sauders in the Wall Street Journal reports the IRS has appealed the ruling and that some experts are worried the ruling opens the door for abuse, especially by wealthier ministers. The original purpose of the parsonage allowance was to minimize taxes on ministers with minimal compensation.

Back To Top