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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Deductions For Ministry Expenses


Dear John,

My wife and I will retire from mission work in Asia after 23 years in May, 2013.  We are both 67.  We will be going around to churches in the US teaching occassionally.  We will live full-time in a 31ft Class A motorhome given to us by an uncle.  Our income will be Social Security, some support still from our agency, and income from an internet based business that has been good the past 10 years.

What kind of deductions can we expect to claim for minstry expenses when living full-time in an RV?  We have housing allowance that will need adjustment I suppose.  What about mileage?  Parking spot rentals?  Per diem deductions?  Can we deduct any or all of these expenses?  How do we determine what is minsitry and what is just living?

THANK YOU for any hints or advice you can give.  We are probably going to need a lot of it!


Thanks for your question.

Since you will be living in the motor home full time, that is considered you primary residence.  The IRS would classify you as an itinerant, meaning you have no tax home.  Therefore, any of the expenses associated with the motor home are not deductible ministry expenses. However, the motor home upkeep, etc. could qualify for housing allowance.  Mileage would not be a part of this, just costs of maintaining the motor home. No per diem for meals.  Parking spot rentals would probably qualify as a housing allowance item.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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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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The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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