July 06, 2016

Church Responsibility to Prepare the Minister's Form W-2

Question:

A pastor has taken the responsibility of preparing his own Form 1099-MISC reporting his earnings from the church congregation he serves. Is this not the responsibility of the church itself?

Answer:

First, since a minister is a dual status employee (see http://ministrycpa.blogspot.com/2012/10/review-of-form-w-2-reporting-for.html for information concerning dual status), he is an employee in every respect except for withholding, and therefore he should be issued a Form W-2. 


Second, the church is responsible for what is reported on the Form W-2 and should be preparing it. The church also has the responsibility of correctly identifying his taxable and nontaxable income. Accordingly the pastor should definitely not prepare his own information return.

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