April 18, 2016

What is the benifit to a housing allowance if you are a minister?

My husband is a minister and has a $20,000 housing allowance, which he has to prove every year he spent that money on housing. We can’t afford to spend $20,000 a year buying things for our house and know few people who can! Why is that a benifit?



Keep your recipts for EVERYTHING. Right down to hand soap & toilet paper. That may help. Best guess anyways.

Ice Rapture

It is non-taxable income. Count your blessings.


He’s a minister.Let god provide.


A housing allowence is to pay for housing, such as rent or mortgage. It’s a benifit as in it’s more free money being givin to him. You also need a better tax accountant then the one your going to.

Evil in disguise

It’s not always a benfit.. my father is a minister and he get’s a very small housing allowance. It is good to have one to make repairs on the rectory though not good for much else. My parent’s house needs repairs and they can use the allowance to pay for some of it. $20,000 doesn’t get you too much for your house.. It would be better if churches gave an allowance to help BUY a home. My dad was given $230,000 to buy a house but in our town’s market, you’d get a roach-fest for that amount.


As a minister, your husband pays both Federal Income Tax and Self-Employment taxes on his income. The Housing allowance is deductible from income (and not reported on W-2 Box 1) for federal income tax purposes. If you spend more than $20,000, then you’ve saved federal taxes on $20,000 of income. If you only spent $15,000, then just add $5,000 to line 7 of your Form 1040.It may not seem that beneficial to have that big of a housing allowance, but if you just had a $7,500 allowance and spent $15,000, you don’t get to subtract the extra $7,500 you spent from the income. It’s best to have too large of an allowance and add parts not spent back to the income than have too small of an allowance and not get the full benefit.Hope this helps.

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