What reports do churches need to file with the IRS regarding pastors' compensation?
Other than for the pastor, a church files the same reports for all employees and is subject to the same withholding rules for standard employees as any other organization. Ministers compensation, however, is exempt from all withholding. The only exemptions churches enjoy compared to other organizations are (1) an exemption from unemployment taxes, and (2) an exemption from FICA (Social Security and Medicare) tax for churches that file Form 8274. IRS Publication 15 can answer church treasurers’ standard questions regarding church payroll.
Reporting a minster’s compensation is often confusing even to treasurers who are familiar with the rules for standard employees. Following is a sample compensation arrangement: