I recently signed up for Medicare. I began by using the online application right up to the point of submission and then due to a question, made an appointment. This gave me the opportunity to experience both methods of applying for Medicare.
Both methods were very easy and quick. Concerning the appointment, the worker was right on time, very helpful and kind. Under normal circumstances, each method would take no more than 30 minutes. My question related to my desire to delay Medicare, but because I am a minister, I was told, “You are self-employed, so you cannot have a large group health care plan. If you do not sign up now, you will be penalized.”
My issue is resolved, but my experience demonstrated the most fundamental principle of ministers’ compensation and taxes – and one that almost no one understands: Ministers are employees for Federal purposes and self-employed for Social Security purposes. Ministers have a “dual tax status.”
This one fact certainly has a bearing on the minister’s taxes, but it also has numerous ramifications for the church treasurer or financial secretary concerning 941s, W-2s, withholding and housing allowance.
The implication of “dual tax status” is one of many topics that will be covered at this summer’s Financial Issues Workshops provided by the State Board of Missions. A one-day event (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with lunch provided), the workshops are being offered at locations around the state to make it as convenient as possible for you to attend, and are specifically geared toward church treasurers, financial secretaries and other financial leaders in your church.
In addition to dual tax status, other topics to be discussed will include the housing allowance court case, new W-4 instructions, new Department of Labor overtime rules coming in January, mission trip donations and sending money abroad, financial controls, payroll, IRS forms, designations of employee or self-employed, taxable wages, FLSA, housing benefits, accountable reimbursement, expense vs. compensation, personnel issues, retirement planning and more.
Please check the schedule below to make note of the remaining workshops to be held this summer, then visit alsbom.org/ChurchFinancialIssues to register for the location of your choice.
• Tuesday, July 23, Calhoun Baptist Association, Anniston
• Thursday, July 25, Mobile Baptist Association, Mobile
• Tuesday, August 6, Dale Baptist Association, Ozark
• Thursday, August 8, SBOM Office Facility, Prattville
• Tuesday, August 13, CrossPoint Church, Trussville
• Tuesday, August 20, Northbrook Baptist Church, Cullman
• Thursday, August 22, Tuskegee Lee Baptist Association, Opelika
For more information about church financial issues or these workshops, contact State Missionary Lee Wright, 1-800-264-1225,
ext. 241, (334) 613-2241, firstname.lastname@example.org.