Tax Issues

Group  ruling

United Methodist Churches can get their 501(c)(3) letters via the  GCFA group ruling website:

FAQ on Clergy Housing Allowance case

Update: Dec. 18, 2017

On Oct. 6, 2017 U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin found that 26 U.S.C. § 107(2) violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. At that time, there were still two issues to be decided, the remedy and whether or not the decision would be stayed pending any potential appeals. 

Judge Crabb issued an order on Dec. 13, 2017 addressing these two issues. She enjoined the IRS from enforcing section 107(2), which is the section permitting a housing allowance for ministers of the gospel, but she stayed the injunction until 180 days after either the conclusion of any pending appeals or the failure to file an appeal by a party. This means that the clergy housing allowance is still available while any appeals are pending. We will keep you updated on the appeals process. 

Read an FAQ on the case 

Click here to read the analysis of the earlier ruling from the Legal Services Department of GCFA and view the most recent update.  

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Legal Services Department of GCFA at or contact New England Conference Treasurer Bill Burnside at

Information on how tax changes affect moving expenses for clergy

Changes to federal tax law for 2018 and beyond impact clergy moving expenses 

Wespath Benefits and Investments has compiled information on the impact of the new tax rules on clergy and churches.  Read more

Wespath has also compiled information for local churches about payments for clergy moving expenses and the importance of reporting these payments to the New England Conference.

Wespath and GCFA provide guidance on church parking tax

A provision in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act requires tax-exempt organizations to report and pay taxes on amounts spent to provide parking and other qualified transportation fringe benefits to employees beginning in 2018. Below are links to more information on how this affects churches.

Here’s a white paper from General Council on Finance and Administration (GFCA)

For more in depth information, see this summary from Wespath

These are general guidelines, if you have specific questions about your church, contact Conference Treasurer Bill Burnside at (978) 682-8055 ext. 110.

GCFA Tax Packet 

  • Go to GCFA Web Page. Packet includes:

  • Tax information for clergy

  • Tax information for churches

  • Business expenses and reimbursements

 Employee vs. Contractor Information

Other Tax Resources: 

Ministerial Tax Issues guide available

GuideStone Financial Resources is a Texas-based provider of retirement and financial services to churches, mission-sending agencies, hospitals, educational institutions, and other related ministries.

GuideStone has created a Ministerial Tax Issues guide that is available as a free PDF. Click the link to find this and other materials created by GuideStone.