Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Form 4361 tax exemption


I am a church treasurer and am facing the job of trying to bring our church records up to date.  I recently discovered that 2 of our ministers claim to be exempt from social security.  I explained that they would have to provide a copy of their "Approved" form 4361.  Right away I received one form from the senior minister however, it has taken some time to receive the other since our youth minister claims he lost his.  He told me he had sent a request to the IRS for a copy.  Just this past week he delivered a very sloppy copy to me.  At first glance I noticed it had been stamped "LATE REPLY" and it appears something was below the LATE REPLY possibily whited out.  It also has approved checked in the box for approval.  The disapproved box is not visible either on the form as if it was whited out.  I have concerns that the form has been altered.  Can a church official contact the IRS by telephone to verify if a minister is approved for exemption?


Thanks for your question.

Unfortunately, the IRS or SSA will not disclose that information to you due to taxpayer privacy concerns.  My suggestion would be for him to request a copy of the 4361 to be sent to you.

This probably isn't much help, but it's all I can give, given the privacy laws that are in effect.

John Stancil, CPA

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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