TAX COMPROMISE & THE CLERGY:Ministers get tax reduction for 2011

Baptist Press
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Posted: Dec 22, 2010 4:15 PM
TAX COMPROMISE & THE CLERGY:Ministers get tax reduction for 2011
DALLAS (BP)--Ministers will receive a small tax benefit from the recent compromise legislation signed by President Barack Obama Dec. 17. Their SECA Social Security tax rate will fall from 12.4 percent to 10.4 percent for 2011 only, according to analysts at GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The additional Medicare tax rate of 2.9 percent remains in effect. Ministers for tax purposes will see their total SECA tax rate drop to 13.3 percent for 2011 only.

American workers in general also will receive a one-year 2 percent cut in their Social Security taxes under the Tax Relief Unemployment Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010. The bill -- a compromise between the White House and Republican congressional leaders -- keeps the "Bush tax cuts" in place through 2012.

Additionally, it extends some unemployment benefits and reduces the 6.2 percent OASDI (old age, survivors and disability insurance) tax rate to 4.2 percent for 2011 only.

Ministers normally pay the 12.4 percent OASDI portion of their SECA tax because of their "dual tax status" as self-employed for Social Security tax purposes. The total OASDI portion of their SECA tax represents the combined employer and employee OASDI tax rates.

The cut in Social Security taxes for 2011 will not impact any SECA taxes owed for income earned in 2010.

GuideStone will be releasing the annual Ministers Tax Guide in February, which provides specific information regarding ministers' unique tax status as well as tips on filing a minister's 2010 tax return. It will be found online at www.GuideStone.org/taxguide, and participants can request a free printed copy by calling GuideStone at 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433). Orders can be placed now for the tax guide, and they will be shipped once the resource is finalized.

For specific information regarding the 2011 Social Security tax reduction, GuideStone encourages its participants to consult with a tax or legal adviser who is versed in ministerial tax issues.

Roy Hayhurst is the senior manager of editorial services for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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