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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 another country alone provides social security coverage for them under the rules of a social security agreement between the United States and that other country.

Additional Information:

Category: Interest, Dividends, Other Types of Income
Subcategory: Ministers' Compensation & Housing Allowance

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The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224