Is there a tax benefit to being a Minister of Music?
Sorry for being so slow with the compilation, and thank you all for your
helpful replies. My original question was in regards to the difference
between a church music director and a music minister, with particular
regard to the tax benefits. Most of the replies were along the same
lines, so I can easily compile them into a single short summary.
Your church can call your position whatever it wants - some of us prefer
to be ministers, some directors, but to obtain the same tax benefits as
clergy, there are some legal qualifications that must be met. A friend
loaned me a book with these tax rules spelled out very simply, but
unfortunately, this book has gone the way of my socks and has not been
seen for 3 weeks, hence the delay of this Email, and the incomplete list
In any event, to get the tax benefit you must meet the first
qualification and at least 2 of the remaining four:
1. Must be ordained or commissioned from the church. (A few churches do
this for music ministers, most do not).
2. Participate in weekly services
3. Participate in distribution of the communal elements
4. Lead worship
5. One other I forget
Obviously, the major hurdle is the first qualification. Since few
churches ordain their music directors/ministers, we can't get the tax
breaks that clergy have, but a very few denominations do allow this.
Thanks for your help.
Josh & Nancy Peterson Directors of Music
1st United Presbyterian Church 1303 Royal Heights Rd.
Belleville, IL 62223 (618) 233-0295 233-0490 (fax)