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Law and the Church, Requirement 4

List nine (9) laws concerning clergy that you have found by searching your national laws.

[These are all from IRS.Gov, primarily from or]
  1. For services in the exercise of the ministry, members of the clergy receive a Form W-2 but do not have social security or Medicare taxes withheld. They must pay social security and Medicare by filing Form 1040 (Schedule SE), Self-Employment Tax (PDF). For additional information refer to Publication 517, Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers.
  2. Most services you perform as a minister, priest, rabbi, etc., are qualified services. These services include:
    • Performing sacerdotal functions,
    • Conducting religious worship, and
    • Controlling, conducting, and maintaining religious organizations (including the religious boards, societies, and other integral agencies of such organizations) that are under the authority of a religious body that is a church or denomination.
  3. Your services for a nonreligious organization are qualified services if the services are assigned or designated by your church. Assigned or designated services qualify even if they do not involve performing sacerdotal functions or conducting religious worship. 

    If your services are not assigned or designated by your church, they are qualified services only if they involve performing sacerdotal functions or conducting religious worship.
  4. Writing religious books or articles is considered to be in the exercise of your ministry and is considered qualified services.
  5. If you are a member of the clergy, you must include in your income, offerings and fees you receive for marriages, baptisms, funerals, masses, etc., in addition to your salary. If the offering is made to the religious institution, it is not taxable to you.
  6. A reservist in the military may request discharge for becoming an ordained minister.
  7. Church tax inquiries may begin if an appropriate high-level Treasury official reasonably believes (on the basis of facts and circumstances recorded in writing) that the church--
    1. may not be exempt, by reason of its status as a church, from tax under section 501(a), or
    2. may be carrying on an unrelated trade or business or otherwise engaged in activities subject to taxation.
    The Treasury office must also, before beginning such inquiry, provide written notice to the church of the beginning of such inquiry.
  8. No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, supplied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or association, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary as such. (This particular section actually refers to the territory of Guam, but it's technically a national law)
  9. Regular or duly ordained ministers of religion are exempt from military training and service, but not from registration with the Selective Service.

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