Clergy Home Building

Today TaxMama hears from the Minister’s wife in Kentucky, who tells us, “My husband’s housing allowance is exempt from taxes. We are currently building a home, while temporarily living with relatives until its completion. Will we be able to deduct any of the expenses from the construction of this new home? For example, we’re already paying house insurance and have bought many other items to be used in the house before the end of ‘O7”

Dear Mini-Wife,

How wonderful to be able to build a home to your own specifications. Every woman’s dream!

When it comes to taxes, though, typically, none of the costs you incur while the house is being constructed are deductible. They are all added to the cost of the house.

That includes mortgage interest, insurance, property taxes, etc.

Deductions will only start once the house is fit to move into – and you move into it (after all inspections are signed off).

Once you’re in the house, you’ll be able to deduct all the usual parsonage expenses. You’ll find the list here in the TaxAlmanc.

http://www.taxalmanac.org/index.php/Minister_/_Clergy_Taxation

Two things you need to note:

1) The tax-free housing allowance your husband receives from the church is subject to Self-Employment taxes.

2) If you are presently paying rent to your relatives while you’re living there, that may be deductible as your parsonage expense for this year. Be sure that your relatives are reporting the rents you pay them, in their income.

That TaxAlmanac page includes more information about clergy expenses – and links to some legal cases. You might enjoy reading them and see how they apply to you.

Consider working with a tax professional who specializes in ministers and clergy. There are tax rules that are unique to your community. And it’s well worth working with someone who understands the tax savings and any costs you’d otherwise overlook.

Enjoy the lovely new home!

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of questions about new homes and other tax information, free. Where? At TaxMama.com

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