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Self-Employed Health Insurance Deduction

Question:

If a minister receives a Form W-2 as an employee and is subject to self-employed income tax on the amount from the Form W-2 plus housing allowance, then can he deduct his health insurance (that he paid) on Form 1040, line 29 as self-employed health insurance or Schedule A. If not on line 29, what is the logic to make him pay SE tax, but not get to deduct SE insurance?

Answer:

A minister's health insurance premiums are deductible only on Schedule A. A minister employed by a church or other Christian organization is considered an employee in every respect except for purposes of SE tax. As an employee he enjoys access to numerous Internal Revenue Code (IRC) tax benefits available only because of his employment status (e.g., IRC 403(b) plans and matching contributions). While it might be annoying to not qualify for an "above-the-line" write-off of his health insurance premiums, overall he is better off tax-wise as an employee. Itinerant evangelistics, for example, do not qualify for employee benefit provisions of the IRC, but do qualify for line 29 write-offs.

Logic? Since when have logic and the IRC been in lock-step harmony? :^)

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