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The IRS issued a letter
Are you a volunteer? If so, you should be aware that income or reimbursements you receive for volunteering — such as stipends, education awards, bonuses and allowances — may be considered taxable income. However, a portion of these may also be tax-exempt. Generally, you’ll receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, if the compensation you receive is taxable.
As a result - payments that are NOT reimbursements for expenses you paid for a non-profit activity should be treated as EARNED income and will affect your social security benefits.
That is YOUR income - no doubts about that - and must be included into your tax return.
But the question is whether that is classified as EARNED income - wages or self-employment income that affects your social security benefits.
That might raise the question whether you are a Volunteer or an employee?The issue addressed by the US Department of Labor and could create some issues for the non-profit ministry as well.
According to the DOL - when a volunteer is paid over $500 a year OR 20% of what an employee would otherwise be paid for the same service - they must be treated as paid staff and are subject to the labor laws.
Let me know if that answered your question?