Housing Allowance Ruling Victory for Rostered Church Workers

Published on March 19th, 2019

Last Friday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the clergy housing allowance is constitutional.

In overturning a 2017 lower court ruling, the Appeals Court ensured that each rostered LCMS minister can continue to exclude a housing allowance on his or her federal income taxes if the IRS requirements for the housing allowance are met.

During the appeals process the Church Alliance, a coalition of chief executives from 37 church benefit organizations including Concordia Plan Services President Jim Sanft, filed a brief in support of the constitutionality of the housing allowance. The Church Alliance advocates for the rights of church workers and their employers, in matters related to benefits. CPS’ leadership position within this group helps your voice to be heard by the judiciary and lawmakers.

For questions about the housing allowance and its tax implications, Concordia Plan Services recommends you talk to a tax professional.