August 25, 2010

Is Office Space Provided to a Missionary "In-kind" Compensation?

Question:

A church provides office space within its church to a local missionary who is raising his support. The church is one of the missionary's financial supporters. This office space is provided rent-free. The missionary is not an employee of the church, but does serve as a member within the church. Is the missionary responsible for any taxes in regards to this office space?

Answer:

The use is certainly consistent with the church's tax-exempt purposes and ministry emphases. Is is my opinion that the office space as described for use in his mission endeavor is non-taxable. Further, even if it did represent taxable income, the missionary would have an immediate and equal business deduction for rent.

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