April is Triple Tax-Deadline Month for Many Ministries

For many ministries and their employees, April is a triple tax-deadline month. Does your ministry have the following dates circled on its calendar?

April 18

Form 1040-ES: Estimated Tax for Individuals. If your pastor makes quarterly estimated tax payments instead of voluntary withholding, the first filing and payment is due by April 18, 2016, using Form 1040-ES. It’s important to note that the church does not make these payments for the pastor. The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) is the easiest way to pay federal taxes for individuals, and includes options for federal tax deposits, installment agreements, and estimated tax payments. Pastors can also access payment history using EFTPS.

The remaining individual quarterly tax payments are due June 15, September 15, and January 17, 2017.

Form 1040: Individual Income Tax Return. For most pastors and ministry staff, April 18, 2016, is tax day. Whether your pastor reports income taxes as an employee or self-employed, filing a Form 1040 is required. Pastors who have requested, and have received, an exemption from Social Security are not exempt from paying federal income taxes.

April 30

Form 941: Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. Ministries that withhold income taxes, Social Security or Medicare tax from employee’s paychecks, or must pay the employer’s portion, will file Form 941 by this date. A separate Form 941 is required at the end of each quarter: July 31 and October 31, 2016, and January 31, 2017.

Form 941 does not apply to all. Some ministries may have received IRS permission to file annually by using Form 944. This form reduces the burden on small employers by allowing them to file one return per year. To see if your ministry qualifies, click here.