Skip to main content

Deducting a Minister's Health Insurance Premiums

Question:

Can a minister with a valid Form 4361, deduct health insurance premiums that he paid on line 29 of form 1040?

Answer:

Ministers use Form 4361 to claim exemption from tax on self-employment income. A minister is an employee in every respect, except for purposes of the self-employment tax. The health insurance premium deduction relates only to self-employed business owners and is not available for employees.

Form 1040 Instructions state that in order to deduct insurance premiums on line 29 of Form 1040:

"One of the following statements must be true.
  • You were self-employed and had a net profit for the year.
  • You were a partner with net earnings from self-employment.
  • You used one of the optional methods to figure your net earnings from self-employment on Schedule SE.
  • You received wages in 2012 from an S corporation in which you were a more-than-2% shareholder. Health insurance premiums paid or reimbursed by the S corporation are shown as wages on Form W-2.
The insurance plan must be established under your business. ... If you are filing Schedule C, C-EZ, or F, the policy can be either in your name or in the name of the business."

However, the minister may deduct the health insurance premiums on Schedule A.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Form 1099 Payments to 501(c)(3) Organizations

Question:

A church rented space from another church last year. Should it request a completed Form W-9 and issue Form 1099-MISC?

Answer:

We have written similar blog posts on this topic in the past (listed below), but we figured it was a good time for a review. 

Payments from one 501(c)(3) organization to another 501(c)(3) organization are not subject to Form 1099-MISC reporting. The 2015 Instructions for Form 1099-MISC state that "payments to a tax-exempt organization" are exempt from reporting a Form 1099-MISC. 

The following are typical examples of payments of $600 or more by a church which are subject to reporting a Form 1099-MISC:
Rent paid to an individual (non-corporation)Payments for services rendered by individuals who are not employees (e.g. janitorial service, facilities, snow removal, guest speakers)Support sent directly to missionariesHere are some similar blog posts that we have written in the past:

Form 1099 for Payments to Other Ministries
Form 1099 for Non-profit?
Fo…

Housing Allowance and Form 1099-MISC Reporting

Question:

A church provides its minister a housing allowance, but for other purposes it believes that it must report the full amount of compensation (including the non-taxable housing allowance portion) on Form 1099-MISC (in order to demonstrate the full earnings of the minister). If the church reports his compensation,including the housing allowance, on Form 1099-MISC as taxable income, will he be able to deduct his housing expenses somewhere else on the Form 1040?

Answer:

This questions brings up a couple of issues. First, most ministers are properly classified as employees who receive Form W-2, not as independent contractors who receive Form 1099-MISC. On Form W-2, Box 1 for taxable compensation is reduced reflecting the church's designation of a portion of his pay as non-taxable. Then in Box 14, it typically reports as a memorandum item his additional non-taxable, housing allowance compensation. In the situation addressed in the question, this Form W-2 reporting may or may not a…

Heath Care Sharing Ministries and the SE Insurance Deduction

Question:

Can payments made to a health care sharing ministry (e.g., Samaritan Ministries, Christian Healthcare Ministries) which are exempt from the Affordable Care Act be deducted from income as a self-employed (SE) insurance deduction?

Answer:

First, to be technical, "health care sharing ministries" (IRS exemption D) provide participants an exception from Shared Responsibility Payments (ACA penalties), but don't connote other tax benefits.

Second, a health care share ministry does not qualify as health insurance. One does not pay what the IRS considers to be premiums, but instead shares the health expenses of others. And according to IRS Pub 535, in order for self-employed individuals to qualify for a SE insurance deductions they must be to pay premiums for qualifying health insurance.