Skip to main content

"Erroneous" Form 1099-MISC Issuance

Question:

A minister receives a Form 1099-MISC from a church for which he provided no services during the year. His current church issues him a W-2. Is the Form 1099-MISC income taxable? If yes, how should he report this on his tax return?

Answer:

It is apparent that the church in the question above distributed money to someone, otherwise no Form 1099-MISC would have been issued! There are three likely explanations for a situation of this nature:

The first possibility is actually a fairly common situation. It could be that the church that issued the Form 1099-MISC has identified him as a "missionary" and has chosen to support him financially even though he provides no services directly to that congregation. In this situation, the Form 1099-MISC income is taxable as support.

Another alternative possibility is that he received Form 1099-MISC income that he was required by contractual arrangement to pass along to his employer who is already fully compensating him. In this case, he should report the Form 1099-MISC income on Schedule C; he should then deduct an identical amount as a ministerial expense, providing the name and Employer Identification Number of the employer to whom the income was forwarded.

Finally, it may be that an erroneous Form 1099-MISC has been issued. It is not wise, no matter the situation, to ignore the matter. An individual who believes that he has received a tax document in error should request a corrected form. He may wish to consult a tax professional to ensure proper reporting and avoid undue IRS scrutiny.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Housing Allowance when Bartering for Rent Payments

Question:

If a minister rents his principal residence, but he performs services (mowing the lawn, repairing the roof, etc.) in lieu of rent, can he still qualify the rent amount for a housing allowance tax benefit?

Answer:

Of course, bartering income is taxable. The Internal Revenue Code interprets that above situation as follows: tenant/minister receives taxable income for the fair market value of the services he provides, andtenant/minster pays landlord for renal of residence. The minister in this case reports taxable income for services provided in lieu of rent. It is also likely subject to self-employment tax. He may then claim as qualifying housing allowance expense equal to the amount he "pays" for rent of his personal residence. Essentially, there is no difference than if the minister and his landlord simply traded checks.

See a past MinistryCPA post regarding this topic: http://ministrycpa.blogspot.com/2016/09/services-to-church-in-lieu-of-rent-of.html

Mission Trips Involving Both Charitable and Personal Time

Question:

A church group went on a two-week mission trip, and a few of the members stayed an additional two weeks for personal time. Will the members who stayed the two additional weeks be able to deduct expenses from the trip?

Answer:

IRS Pub 526 covers the topic of Charitable Contributions and, more specifically, travel expenses associated with charitable trips. The publication states that travel expenses will be deductible “if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel.” The publication also states, “The deduction for travel expenses won't be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. However, if you have only nominal duties, or if for significant parts of the trip you don't have any duties, you can't deduct you…

403(b) Contribution Calculations Exclude Housing Allowance

Question:

Should 403(b) contributions and the subsequent match be based on the pastor's total income from the church (including housing allowance) or just from the salary minus housing allowance?

Answer:

According to Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA, in his book 2015 Church & Clergy Tax Guide, “Section 107 of the tax code specifies that a minister’s housing allowance (or the annual rental value of a parsonage) is not included in the minister’s gross income for income tax reporting purposes. Therefore, it would appear that the definition of includible compensation for purposes of computing the limit on annual additions to a 403(b) plan would not include the portion of a minister’s housing allowance that is excludable from gross income." 

Hammar's Church Law and Tax Report is an excellent resource that many ministries should consider as annual subscribers.