Topic: General Posts

Subject: Tax and Legal issues for clergy
Robert McDonald
Member: 2005
Submitted on 02-20-19 1:27 pm

My wife is graduating from Seminary in May and will be ordained in June.  I would like to educate myself on the tax and legal issues that are specific to clergy.  Initially for taking care of personal / family matters.  However, I am interested in learning as much as possible, to be a resource for others.  I am also considering the possibility of leveraging the knowledge professionally either part-time or in the future.


I would love to hear from anyone that has any insight or resources.  I would really be interested in digging into the topic.  I still need most of my CPE for this year, so I am particularly interested in ways to obtain the knowledge and get CPE credits.


I am cross posting this in the Not-for-Profit forum.


Robert B. McDonald

Dan Helming
Member: 1999
Posts: 3

Subject: Re:Tax and Legal issues for clergy

Submitted on 03-12-19 8:20 pm.

I've been in an old church for 25 years.  I think the issues are that a rector should push the mission and use of the church's assets to benefit the most needy stakeholders, and to charge a fair price that slides in terms of economic need of the group, like AA for example.  To push for a capital drive every 7 years so you don't miss a generation of givers as they rethink their situations.  To ensure that your main purpose remains the church, so that you stay abreast of the rules that would turn you into a for-profit institution that would need to pay taxes.  At one time we thought it was not more than 50% of the space-time was devoted to events other than the events of the church.  To reach out and bring back in, funds that allow an appeal for all ages, including high school, young adults.  To push for accountability and internal control so that a fraud is less likely, including at the hands of the rector (seen that).

I think personally, that a rectory denies the rector the tax compensation and appreciation of homebuying.  Although it is unusual, a sale-buyback based on real estate valuations would allow that.