Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
I have had ministers as clients that have filed to be exempt and others that chose to stay in the system.
To request exemption from SE tax, file Form 4361 in triplicate (original and two copies) with the IRS.
The IRS will return to you a copy of the Form 4361 that you filed indicating whether it has approved your exemption. If it is approved, keep the approved copy of Form 4361 in your permanent records.
File by the due date (including extensions) of your income tax return for the second tax year in which you had at least $400 of net earnings from self-employment, any of which came from ministerial services. You asked about "bear traps" and the time to file is one of them. Many ministers miss this 2 year requirement. Making the request timely is important.
Remember that this is irrevocable.
Are there any other items to attach besides:
Church's IRS Exemption LetterCertificate of License to minister from Church?
No, if the IRS wishes any more information from you they will let you know.
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