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Minister exemption from socsec/medi tax question


Catherine

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Except, @BrewOne, they can do this and separate ministerial income from non-ministerial income before starting to take socsec. My question was on the timing. I know a minister who did all his ministerial stuff as sideline freebies for years, but now that he is retired wants to spend more time as a minister - which will bring in income.

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I struggled with this with a client I had many years ago.   I just let them work it out with the government and God.  They had the signed form, I filed the return.

On one hand, they cannot opt out of SS when working outside the ministry.   So they are only taking back what they were forced to pay under the threat of loss of property and liberty.

On the other hand, if they really have an objection to taking government money, they should not take government money.

I think a lot of ministers don't really know what they are signing when they opt out of SS.  Most think it is just a loophole that the government gives to ministers.

Tom
Longview, TX

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13 hours ago, Catherine said:

May a minister claim exemption from socsec/medi tax, for religious reasons, on his ministerial income if he is also receiving soc sec based on wages from prior non-ministerial jobs (from which there is no exemption unless one is Amish or similar)?

Yes, Section 1402(e)(1), and form 4361, basically says the objection to public insurance because of religious principles is in respect to his or hers service as a minister.  

In other words, they are declaring opposition to SS for wages as a minister only.

Our Roman Catholic Diocese strongly discourages Priest from taking the exemption.

13 hours ago, Catherine said:

but now that he is retired wants to spend more time as a minister - which will bring in income.

By signing 4361, he states that he is opting out for religious rather than economic reasons.

I had a retired farmer in a similar situation, also worked part time as a school bus driver, I explained it and he signed.  End of story.

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21 hours ago, BulldogTom said:

I struggled with this with a client I had many years ago.   I just let them work it out with the government and God.  They had the signed form, I filed the return.

On one hand, they cannot opt out of SS when working outside the ministry.   So they are only taking back what they were forced to pay under the threat of loss of property and liberty.

On the other hand, if they really have an objection to taking government money, they should not take government money.

I think a lot of ministers don't really know what they are signing when they opt out of SS.  Most think it is just a loophole that the government gives to ministers.

Tom
Longview, TX

I agree.  I had a client in this situation but he is now retired from his regular job.  Yes, he's receiving SS.  I agree that most don't really know what they're signing, just saving money.  I recommend they pay and receive it.  I have a retired minister who  paid thru the years and is now receiving a nice amount from SocSec.

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