Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/missionary taxes


Hi, John.  I have another one for you, if you'd be so kind.
Could you explain to me how this would apply to me as a missionary living most of the year out of the country?  What do they mean by claiming physical presence?  (01-01-2013)
Self-Employment Tax (Clergy)

   'Missionaries claiming physical presence must pay self-employment tax on net earnings without regard to any exemptions.'

I came across this and wanted to know if perhaps this provides an exception for missionaries to claim 'physical presence' in the U.S. so as to qualify for the EITC.




The answer is still "no."  Claiming physical presence is one of the two tests under which you may qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion.  To qualify for this exclusion, you must pass the physical presence test by being physically present in a foreign country for 330 days in a 12-month period or stablish bona fide residence in a foreign country. If you take the exemption under the physical presence, you are claiming physical presence and therefore subject to SE taxes.

Whether you claim physical presence or the bona fide residence, or neither you still do not meet the EIC test of your child residing with you the entire year in the U S.

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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