I am moving to another pastorate just after the first of the year. It is unlikely our present home will sell in the short-term. Will we be able to exclude expenses relating to the new home we plan to purchase plus our current home if it doesn’t sell by the end of the year?
For a short period of time, excluding the expenses relating to more than one home might have been permissible under the tax rules relating to the clergy housing exclusion. However, in September 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up Phil Driscoll’s appeal of a Tax Court decision. The Appeals Court had ruled that a member of the clergy is limited to excluding expenses for one home at a time. Therefore, there is currently no basis to claim the expenses for more than one home at a time when computing the clergy housing exclusion.
Dan Busby is a CPA and president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).