Annual Clergy Tax Seminar Is Offered Online and at Bethany Seminary

The annual tax seminar for clergy will be held March 3. Students, pastors, and other church leaders are invited to attend either in person at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., or online.

The sessions will cover tax law for clergy, changes for 2013 (the most current tax year to file), and detailed assistance to correctly file the various forms and schedules that pertain to clergy including housing allowances, self-employment, W-2s clergy reductions, and so forth.

Greatly appreciated by Bethany Seminary students, this seminar is now open to clergy and others across the denomination. It is recommended for all pastors and other church leaders who wish to understand clergy taxes, including treasurers, steward commission chairs, and church board chairs.

Participants will learn how to file clergy taxes correctly and legally, will learn how to comply with regulations while maximizing tax deductions, and will earn 0.3 continuing education units.

Leadership is provided by Deb Oskin, EA, NTPI Fellow, who is also an ordained minister. She has been doing clergy tax returns since 1989, when her husband became pastor of a small Church of the Brethren congregation. She has learned the problems and pitfalls associated with the IRS identification of clergy as “hybrid employees,” from the personal and professional perspective. During her 12 years with H&R Block (2000-2011), she achieved the highest level of expertise certification as a master tax adviser and certified advanced instructor, and has earned the status of enrolled agent with the IRS, qualified to represent clients to the IRS. She was called by Living Peace Church of the Brethren in Columbus, Ohio, to be the congregation’s peace minister to the wider community in 2004, and served as Southern Ohio District’s board chair from 2007-2011. She also works closely with several interfaith peace organizations in central Ohio and currently operates her own independent tax service specializing in clergy taxes.

Seminar schedule, Monday, March 3
Morning session: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (eastern time),  0.3 continuing education units available for live attendance, either in person or online
Lunch is on your own
Afternoon session: 2-4 p.m. (eastern)

This event is sponsored by the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry, and Bethany Seminary’s Office of Electronic Communication. Registration is $20 per person. Registration fees for current Bethany, TRIM/EFSM/SeBAH, or Earlham School of Religion students are fully subsidized (free). Registration is required to reserve a seat at the seminary or proper access to the online event, and make sufficient materials available. For those attending online, instructions and handouts will be sent a few days prior to the event. Registrations are not complete until payment is received. For space and quality reasons, registrations may be capped at 25 participants locally and 85 online. Prompt registration is advised. Go to www.bethanyseminary.edu/webcasts/clergytax2014#reg .

— Julie Hostetter is executive director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, a joint endeavor of the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Theological Seminary.