Do pastors pay taxes?

Can pastors really avoid paying taxes? Find out if it's true in this article!

pastors taxes

The rules about the taxes were established a really long time. However, there are still people who ask if preachers pay taxes. In the Unites States the answer is very simple.

All kinds of churches get the financial support and also provide the pastor with the extra money to have a place to live in. But it works in the different ways in the different countries.

Some places don’t accept such things and have completely different rules.

But in the counties where this rule is working, there are still people who have no idea how the taxes system works for pastors.

Do pastors pay taxes on housing allowance?

Most of the preachers get the housing allowance. But it can happen in different ways. For example, some pastors get the house that actually belongs to the church.

He doesn’t pay anything for it and he can live there until he is done working for the church.

It means that he doesn’t have to pay property tax. However, there is also another option. As the preacher gets his salary, some of the money is supposed to be spent on the housing allowance.

A lot of pastors actually do that as it is very convenient and it allows them to spend their salary on the really good and necessary things.

The way the tax system works

The most important thing in this process is not the amount of money that they spent. It’s actually the amount of money they allocate on it.

pastors taxes

For example, if the pastor allocates a certain amount of money on the housing allowance, but spends only a part of it, it means that he has to pay back what he hasn’t used.

If you think about it in this way, then you can probably say that pastors do pay taxes. But the system is really different.

This tax is absolutely different from the others and that’s why there are a lot of rules about it. However, there are also other types of taxes. For example, all the religious leaders have to pay social security tax.

READ ALSO: Why pastors shouldn't have private planes?

Moreover, they have to pay the full price, there are no discounts. The percentage is different every year but in general they pay this tax every year no matter what.

Why do they even get the housing allowance?

The reasons why the government came up with the rules like that are quite complicated. It goes back to history when a lot of countries decided to free the pastors from paying taxes. The system was structured very thoroughly.

It happened mainly because some churches wanted to be independent from the other churches and that’s why they refused to pay taxes.

At first the head churches didn’t agree to that but as the time went, they had to make a low about the absence of the taxes for the preachers as they couldn’t find a compromise.

The history of the United States is not that long but they also have the same laws. Some of them were established as the same or similar to those in Europe.

When religion became a very important thing there, they had to decide the way it would work. So they put most of the preachers in the houses that the churches owned. This way they didn’t pay the allowance tax.

pastors taxes

The people who worked at the church back then were mostly poor, they worked for the faith, not for the money. That’s why it was very hard for them to afford everything themselves.

Moreover, not all the churches have the same income and the same situation. So if there was a certain tax that every religious organization had to pay, it would be a very unfair system.

Nowadays there are not that many pastors who live in the parsonages. The reason for it is also the same. Not all the churches could provide their workers with a separate house.

That’s why the difference between them was too obvious. And that’s definitely not a good idea. Therefore, the government made a decision to free all the religious workers from paying taxes.

Are there any other groups of people who don’t pay taxes?

Yes, there are. However, it happens for the different kinds of reasons with the different sorts of people.

For example, if a person is required to work and live at the same place, then the employer is responsible for providing the apartment as it is not the person’s own choice.

pastors taxes

The soldiers who are fighting in the war or are just active also have a right not to pay a tax.

Of course it’s different in every country, but every state wants its habitants to feel free and equal. That’s why they have these kinds of laws.

Pros and cons of the “no taxes” idea

There are different opinions on this topic. Some citizens who work hard say that it’s absolutely not fair that there are people who can avoid paying taxes.

But from the other side, the jobs of these people are very specific. Sometimes there is no other option other than letting them get away with it. If we stop abiding this law, the consequences would be unbelievable.

The inequality between the religious organizations will become extremely visible. The whole system will become really chaotic. That’s why we should try to understand why the government establishes these kinds of rules.

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