- Monthly Social Security benefits will increase by a 0.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment. The adjustment begins with benefits paid in January 2017.
- Maximum earnings subject to Social Security tax increased from $118,500 (2016) to $127,200 (2017). If you earn $127,200 or more annually, you will pay an additional $539.40 each year if an employee or $1,078.80 each year if self-employed.
- The amount of earnings required for a quarter of coverage (also referred to as a Social Security credit) increased from $1,260 (2016) to $1,300 (2017).
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?
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