TurboTax AnswerXchange Home

clergy housing allowance

I need to know where to enter a clergy housing allowance on 1099 income
  • Was your problem solved?
    If so, what was the solution?
  • not yet; working on it. Just got a lot going on, so this is on hold for a bit
  • Don't give up!

Hi Benjaminpruitt,

The clergy housing allowance is subject to self-employment tax but not necessarily income tax. The software will ask you if you received this form. You will be able to enter all the information in the related boxes, as it appears on your form. 

If you would like to jump to the location to enter this form in the software, simply type '1099-MISC' in the search box in the upper right of the TurboTax software. The first option will be 'Jump to 1099-MISC,' which will take you directly to the 1099-Q section of TurboTax.

You can take a deduction for your housing expenses as allowed. In order to take the deduction, the software will ask you about these expenses when you are entering your related W-2 income. When you are entering your W-2 clergy income, follow the steps below:

  • During the W-2 interview, at the screen "Do any of these apply to this W-2" select "I earned this income for religious employment" box
  • The software will now provide you with the questions related to your situation
  • On the "Tell Us About Your Housing Allowance" page, you must enter the Parsonage amount, and also the Qualifying Expenses.

The Qualifying Expenses are the lowest of these amounts:

- Your qualified housing expenses

- The fair rental value of your housing expenses, or

- Your housing or parsonage allowance

This will cancel out the amount used for housing, so if the allowance is more than what you used, it gets added to Line 7 of the 1040 as Excess Allowance.

If you would like to refer to a TurboTax resource, I've included a link below:


Let me know if you have additional questions. Thank you for choosing TurboTax!
  • The qualifying expenses did not lower my taxable amount of pension payment.
  • the 1099 Q menu does not ask me if i received this as a minister
  • i did not receive a w2 form from my  church, instead 7202 was listed on line 7 of 1099-misc - (this is all housing allowance as determined by our Board of Elders in writing each year)  where can i  properly declare and receive tax relief?
  • That is the only pay you received - a form 1099-MISC, is this correct?

    Sounds like your situation is different than the one presented here. See my answer below.
  • I need help with this as well. I only received a 1099misc, and I can't figure out how to claim the housing allowance
  • Basically, you do not get the allowance from a 1099, only a W-2, unless you filed for the exemption by the second year of service. See my answer below.

Minister Pay on Form 1099-MISC Box 7

If the only form of payment you received was on a form 1099-MISC box 7, then it sounds like the full amount will be taxable. Unless the exemption applies below, in which case you do not report the income. Be sure to reply to the IRS timely if they request information about why you did not report the form.

There are rules that allow for a before tax parsonage allowance from income tax, but not self-employment income. This applies to W-2 income.  

The only reason the amount may be excluded from social security and medicare tax is if you specifically filed form 4361. You would be aware if you filed this form or if you just became a minister recently, you may still be able to file this form. Let me know if you have questions related to these rules.

Exemption for the self-employment tax for certain ministers

If you are conscientiously opposed to public insurance because of individual religious considerations, or you are opposed because of the principles of the religious denomination you belong to, you can claim an exemption from the self-employment tax by filing Form 4361 with the IRS. If the exemption is granted, you do not pay Social Security or Medicare taxes on your earnings. Of course, neither do you get credit toward Social Security or Medicare benefits in retirement. You must file Form 4361 by the due date of your tax return for the second tax year in which you earned at least $400 of self-employment earnings as a minister.

Once you claim the exemption, you cannot revoke the election. Although the income you earn is not subject to self-employment tax if the election is granted, you can use the income as the basis for contributions to a qualified retirement plan, such as a Keogh plan or individual 401(k).

For reference, if you would like - I'll include a few links: 

Let me know if you have questions.

  • Amanda:  so, your first answer is wrong? "If the only form of payment you received was on a form 1099-MISC box 7, then it sounds like the full amount will be taxable."  DO you have an amended answer about clergy housing allowance and 1099misc ?  Thank you for your email message.
  • Please read my posting - although long, it is fully explanative and also suggests how to file

As an addition to what the TurboTax Employees provided:

[Retired Clergy may be entitled to the same Housing Exemption - Scroll to the Bottom]

Clergy face a difficult accounting in calculating taxes.  

Do you have income reported on W-2 or From 1099-MISC?  

It is an option of the church as to how you are considered as an employee or self-employed.

Clergy housing, also known as Parsonage, is not subject to Federal Income Tax but is subject to the FICA Social Security Tax and to Medicare Tax [this is the equivalent of Self-Employment tax]

Your parsonage [being either that designated by your church, or agreed to, or a reasonable statement of housing cost in the area of the church] is not subject to Income Tax and but are subject to FICA and Medicare Tax.

                         "housing allowances" =  parsonage.

Housing expenses -  Other costs for housing over and above the "allowance"?  If a reasonable statement of what it housing costs are in your church's area, you may find the following of interest as it would suggest the reasonable cost is deductible even if the "allowance" did not cover it. 

"A minister who receives a housing allowance may exclude the allowance from gross income to the extent it is used to pay expenses in providing a home. Generally, those expenses include rent, mortgage interest, utilities, repairs, and other expenses directly relating to providing a home. The amount excluded cannot be more than the reasonable compensation for the minister's services."

"For social security and Medicare tax purposes, a duly ordained, licensed or commissioned minister performing ministerial services is considered to be self-employed. This means that your salary on Form W-2, the net profit on Schedule C or C-EZ, and your housing allowance, less your employee business expenses are subject to self-employment tax on Form 1040, Schedule SE"

Alternatively if you received a Form 1099-MISC Box 7 and not a W-2, Enter the 1099-MISC as business income. For the principal business code, use 813000 (religious organization). After you enter that business code you will get a screen about clergy income. Select "I Need to Pay Self-Employment Tax on This Income." The next screen will ask you to enter the amount of your housing allowance. Continue through the business interview and enter your 1099-MISC.

If you report clergy income and your employer does not pay Social Security and Medicare tax, you must:

  • pay these taxes yourself in the form of self-employment tax or
  • be granted an exemption on Form 4361 or Form 4029.

Your housing allowance is not subject to regular income tax (to the extent that you use it for qualified housing expenses), but it is subject to Social Security and Medicare (self-employment) taxes.

Click on one of the links below to learn more about how self-employment tax is calculated on clergy income, exemptions from self-employment tax, and how to enter a clergy housing allowance.

How self-employment tax is calculated on clergy income

TurboTax calculates clergy self-employment tax and prepares Schedule SE (Self-Employment Tax) based upon:

The amount of Social Security and Medicare tax withholding you enter from your Form W-2 on the "Enter Your Wage Information" screen,
The selection you make on the Clergy Self-Employment Tax screen:

  • Pay self-employment tax on wages only
  • Social Security and Medicare taxes have been withheld
  • Pay self-employment tax on housing allowance only
  • Pay self-employment tax on wages and housing allowance
  • This income is exempt from self-employment tax; I have an approval Form 4361
  • Exemptions from self-employment tax for clergy income

Exemptions from Self-Employment Tax for Clergy Income
Form 4361: Application for Exemption From Self-Employment Tax for Use by Minister, Members of Religious Orders, and Christian Science Practitioners

You must file Form 4361 by the due date of your tax return for the second year that you have at least $400 of net earnings from self-employment. Part or all of the net earnings must be for clergy services. This includes Christian Science readers, practitioners, teachers, or lecturers. Employees of a church or church-controlled organization can claim the exemption if both the church and the employees file and receive the exemption. You can download IRS Form 4361 from their website.

Form 4029: Application for Exemption From Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Waiver of Benefits

If you are a member of a recognized religious sect, you can request an exemption from paying self-employment tax for religious reasons. Your religious sect must be opposed to accepting public or private insurance benefit payments for death, disability, old age, retirement, or medical care. If you claim this exemption, you waive all rights for you or your heirs to ever receive any social security benefits. If you have already received social security payments, you cannot apply for the exemption unless you pay back all the benefits you received. You must file Form 4029 with the Social Security Administration and receive approval before you claim exemption with the IRS. Refer to the IRS Form 4029 instructions on their website.

How to enter a clergy housing allowance - Form W-2 or Form 1099-MISC

In TurboTax, enter your W-2 clergy earnings under the Wages and Salaries area on the Your Income Summary screen.

During the W-2 interview, if you see an amount in box 14 for your Clergy Housing Allowance, enter it in the box 14 list.

Continues to the Let's Review Your Box 14 screen.

In the Box 14 drop down menu select Other-not on the above list.

Click Continue to the Do Any of These Apply to This W-2? screen, and select the option I earned this income for religious employment box.

On the next screen, About Your Religious Employment, select the option You earned this income for clergy employment.

On the next screen, Tell us about your Clergy Housing, be sure to enter amounts in both boxes.

The amount of your housing allowance that exceeds your Qualifying Expenses will be treated as income.

On the next screen, Clergy Self-Employment Tax, select the option that applies to you.

Click Continue to return to the W-2 summary screen.


How to enter a RETIRED clergy housing allowance - Form 1099-R
The IRS allows a housing allowance to retired ministers to the extent the recipient can justify the amount. Should you receive more than you can justify, the excess should be considered taxable.

You may include this statement with an electronically filed return using the instructions below.

You may file a paper return with an attachment stating that you received an exempted housing allowance as a retired clergy member. Be sure to include the amount received. You should keep documentation in your records to justify the amount of the housing allowance. This subject is covered in IRC Section 107, which you can mention in your statement. 

You should have received form 1099-R reporting the distribution. To access the entry fields for the 1099-R:

From within TurboTax, scroll down the Income Summary List

In Category Retirement Plans and Social Security  select  IRA, 401(K), Pension Plan Distributions (Form 1099-R).

Add a 1099-R to create a new copy of the form or Click Edit to review a form already created.

The program will proceed with the interview questions for you to enter or review the appropriate information. Enter the data from the 1099-R excepting Box 2 information - see next.

If Box 2b  is checked [Taxable Amount Not Determined] then  right click the field for Box 2a and select "Add supporting details",

a.    make sure  the "NOT print box is not checked!
b.   In first line of description enter "Taxable amount reported in Box 2a  and in the    Amount enter the Box 2 amount.
c.   In the second line enter description "Deduction for Housing
 Allowance"  and in the Amount enter as a negative the allowanceas an adjustment
d.   If the Housing Allowance exceeds the Pension received and a
       negative sum results, then reduce the Housing Allowance so that  the sum is zero.

If Box 2b  is NOT checked, then you should report as taxable for the 1099-R the amount reported and adjust it as follows.

a.  After exiting the 1099-R entry, return to the Income Summary list.
b.  Scroll down the list to "Less Common Income" and select
     "Miscellaneous Income""
c.  Select "Other Reportable Income"  - to the question 
      "Any Other Taxable Income"  answer "yes"
d.  Enter for Description = "Clergy Housing Allowance" and for
     amount - as a negative the housing allowance amount.
     This adjusting entry will appear as a negative amount on 
     Page 1 of Form 1040 line 21 with description showing.

This a user-to-user board! We're just volunteers trying to help out!
Not a TurboTax or Intuit employee
Firefighter/EMT-P (IAFF) just trying to put out fires.
It would be more productive to find out who is lighting them!
Get your Best Tax Resource - IRS PUB #17 at
s/ Scruffy Cumudgeon ® ™
& as they say in Chicago:  VOTE early & VOTE often!

    Contribute an answer

    People come to TurboTax AnswerXchange for help and answers—we want to let them know that we're here to listen and share our knowledge. We do that with the style and format of our responses. Here are five guidelines:

    1. Keep it conversational. When answering questions, write like you speak. Imagine you're explaining something to a trusted friend, using simple, everyday language. Avoid jargon and technical terms when possible. When no other word will do, explain technical terms in plain English.
    2. Be clear and state the answer right up front. Ask yourself what specific information the person really needs and then provide it. Stick to the topic and avoid unnecessary details. Break information down into a numbered or bulleted list and highlight the most important details in bold.
    3. Be concise. Aim for no more than two short sentences in a paragraph, and try to keep paragraphs to two lines. A wall of text can look intimidating and many won't read it, so break it up. It's okay to link to other resources for more details, but avoid giving answers that contain little more than a link.
    4. Be a good listener. When people post very general questions, take a second to try to understand what they're really looking for. Then, provide a response that guides them to the best possible outcome.
    5. Be encouraging and positive. Look for ways to eliminate uncertainty by anticipating people's concerns. Make it apparent that we really like helping them achieve positive outcomes.

    Similar questions other people found helpful: