Ministers' Compensation & Housing Allowance
Question: Are all ministers treated as self-employed for social security purposes?
Services that a duly ordained, commissioned or licensed minister performs in the exercise of his or her ministry are generally covered under the Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA). This means the minister is exempt from social security and Medicare withholding, but the minister is responsible for paying self-employment tax on his or her net earnings from self-employment.
- There are some members of religious orders, ministers, and Christian Science practitioners who have requested and been granted exemption from self-employment tax.
- There are also members of religious orders who have taken a vow of poverty that are exempt, and ministers who are exempt because they are covered solely by the social security laws of another country under a social security agreement between the United States and that other country.
- Form 4361 (.pdf), Application for Exemption From Self-Employment Tax for Use by Ministers, Members of Religious Orders and Christian Science Practitioners
- Publication 517, Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers
- Tax Topic 417, Earnings for Clergy
Category: Interest, Dividends, Other Types of Income
Subcategory: Ministers' Compensation & Housing Allowance