What advice can you give a newly ordained minister on the deductibility of expenses related to training materials, tuition, books and apartment rent incurred during the process of becoming a licensed minister?
IRS Publication 529 communicates information regarding the deductibility of "Work-Related Education." These deductions are Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions on Schedule A. It says,
"You can deduct expenses you have for education, even if the education may lead to a degree, if the education meets at least one of the following two tests.
- It maintains or improves skills required in your present work.
- It is required by your employer or the law to keep your salary, status, or job, and the requirement serves a business purpose of your employer.
- Is needed to meet the minimum educational requirements to qualify you in your trade or business, or
- Is part of a program of study that will lead to qualifying you in a new trade or business."
Of course, there are other tax benefits (education credits claimed on Form 8863) that aspiring ministers can enjoy.