Gosh, It Doesn’t Seem That Hard
Although the U. S. Constitution forbids the establishment of a state religion, it does not forbid various tax breaks for members of the clergy. One of these tax breaks is the right to receive a housing allowance or the right to live in church provided housing without have to pay income tax on the benefit.
|What We Think the Congress Had|
in Mind for a Parsonage Allowance
Now this does not seem unreasonable on its face, after all the clergy provide a public service and if their congregation wants to provide them with a small cottage in which to live, it seems ok not to tax the clergy on the value of housing, something that would be taxable to any other person.
Leaving aside the issue of an ordained minister going to jail for tax evasion (tax evasion does seem outside the normal ministry doesn’t it), and how he got $408,000 from his ministry to buy a second home, what is the court’s reasoning here?
|What Some Clergy Call a Parsonage|
Well, for those who want to “reform” the tax code, seems like the Tax Court has pointed out a good place to start.