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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Can a church charge the pastor rent on the church parsonage


Can a church charge the fair rental value of a church owned parsonage to the pastor to allow him to receive a housing allowance?  If so would the church then have to pay the business related taxes on the profit?


Thanks for your question.

The church could charge the pastor rent, but it would serve absolutely no purpose and create extra paperwork. The rental would not be subject to unrelated business income laws.

The fair rental value of the parsonage substitutes as the housing allowance and is reported on his income tax return subject to self- employment taxes. If the church wanted to provide an additional amount to cover utilities, furnishings, and the like, that could be done so long as the rental value and the additional allowance were within legal limits for housing allowances.

Hope this helps.

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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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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