WK – Church Law
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Pastor Compensation

Pastor Compensation

Many churches have questions that pertain to the compensation plan for clergy and other church staff members. At Winters & King, Inc., we understand that there are several unique tax issues that can be difficult to navigate and understand on your own. Our team of attorneys have worked with thousands of churches to provide guidance and solutions for similar questions and concerns you have.

An important aspect to note is that the term “minister” is not defined in the Internal Revenue Code. The IRS and courts have defined five factors that should be used to identify a minister.  The factors include:

  • Performing sacerdotal functions (i.e. weddings and funerals, etc.);
  • Conducting worship services
  • Controlling or maintaining the organization
  • Considered a spiritual leader
  • Ordained, licensed, or commissioned

These factors influence the compensation model for your church staff. Only the last factor is required in all cases, but the remaining four factors do play a role in determining who is eligible to be considered a minister for tax purposes. We will help translate your sincere work into legal terms so that you can be recognized and compensated for your calling.

Experienced legal counsel for churches throughout America

We have represented thousands of churches and assisted pastors throughout the United States. Our biblically based principles guide every area of our practice and our clients appreciate and value our unique approach. Call us today at 918.494.6868 or contact us online to schedule a consultation regarding your legal issue. You can count on us, our values, and our professionalism and competence.


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