Christian Living


Tax Preparation Services and Software for Pastors

I have heard from many pastors that the majority of tax preparers and tax preparation services that they have worked with in the past are inexperienced when it comes to understanding and properly handling the unique issues surrounding the pastor’s income and, in particular, housing allowance.

I would suggest that, if you choose to use an individual or a service to prepare your taxes, make sure that the specific person you will be working with has experience with pastoral tax issues. If you’re having a hard time finding someone like that, I would suggest asking other local pastors for recommendations.

If you’re more of a DIY kind of tax filer, and you want to utilize one of the major online tax software options, I would recommend contacting them in advance to ensure that their software is designed to process clergy taxes without problems.

For example, and to my knowledge, as of the 2016 tax filing season, only one of the major online tax services was capable of fully handling clergy taxes online without any issues for DIY filers. In fact, I know several pastors who attempted to use other major online tax services to file their clergy taxes, but who were unable to do so for various reasons. Some services simply would not process clergy taxes. Others required them to file their returns online but then come into a local office to complete the process.

Take my advice! A few phone calls and a little research will save you a lot of time and headache this tax season.

Used with permission.  From How to Not Be a Broke Pastor, Copyright 2017, BROKEPASTOR LLC

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