26 C.F.R. § 1.1402(e)-2A   Ministers, members of religious orders and Christian Science practitioners; application for exemption from self-employment tax.


Title 26 - Internal Revenue


Title 26: Internal Revenue
PART 1—INCOME TAXES
TAX ON SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME

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§ 1.1402(e)-2A   Ministers, members of religious orders and Christian Science practitioners; application for exemption from self-employment tax.

(a) In general. (1) Subject to the limitations set forth in subparagraphs (2) and (3) of this paragraph, any individual who is (i) a duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church or a member of a religious order (other than a member of a religious order who has taken a vow of poverty as a member of such order) or (ii) a Christian Science practitioner may request an exemption from the tax on self-employment income (see section 1401 and §1.1401–1) with respect to services performed by him in his capacity as a minister or member, or as a Christian Science practitioner, as the case may be. Such a request shall be made by filing an application for exemption on Form 4361 in the manner provided in paragraph (b) of this section and within the time specified in §1.1402(e)–3A. For provisions relating to the taxable year or years for which an exemption from the tax on self-employment income with respect to service performed by a minister or member or a Christian Science practitioner in his capacity as such is effective, see §1.1402(e)–4A. For additional provisions applicable to services performed by individuals referred to in this subparagraph, see paragraph (e) of §1.1402(c)–3 and §1.1402(c)–5 relating to ministers and members of religious orders, and paragraphs (a)(3)(ii) and (b) of §1.1402(c)–6 relating to Christian Science practitioners.

(2) The application for exemption shall contain, or there shall be filed with such application, a statement to the effect that the individual making application for exemption is conscientiously opposed to, or because of religious principles is opposed to, the acceptance (with respect to services performed by him in his capacity as a minister, member, or Christian Science practitioner) of any public insurance which makes payments in the event of death, disability, old age, or retirement or makes payments toward the cost of, or provides services for, medical care (including the benefits of any insurance system established by the Social Security Act). Thus, ministers, members of religious orders, and Christian Science practitioners requesting exemption from social security coverage must meet either of two alternative tests: (1) A religious principles test which refers to the institutional principles and discipline of the particular religious denomination to which he belongs, or (2) a conscientious opposition test which refers to the opposition because of religious considerations of individual ministers, members of religious orders, and Christian Science practitioners (rather than opposition based upon the general conscience of any such individual or individuals). The term “public insurance”, as used in section 1402(e) and this paragraph, refers to governmental, as distinguished from private, insurance and does not include insurance carried with a commercial insurance carrier. To be eligible to file an application for exemption on Form 4361, a minister, member, or Christian Science practitioners need not be opposed to the acceptance of all public insurance making payments of this specified type; he must, however, be opposed on religious grounds to the acceptance of any such payment which, in whole or in part, is based on, or measured by earnings from, services performed by in his capacity as a minister or member (see §1.1402(c)–5) or in his capacity as a Christian Science practitioner (see paragraph (b)(2) of §1.1402(c)–6). For example, a minister performing service in the exercise of his ministry may be eligible to file an application for exemption on Form 4361 even though he is not opposed to the acceptance of benefits under the Social Security Act with respect to service performed by him which is not in the exercise of his ministry.

(3) An exemption from the tax imposed on self-employment income with respect to service performed by a minister, member, or Christian Science practitioner in his capacity as such may not be granted to a minister, member, or practitioner who (in accordance with the provisions of section 1402(e) as in effect prior to amendment by section 115(b)(2) of the Social Security Amendments of 1967 (81 Stat. 839)) filed a valid waiver certificate on Form 2031 electing to have the Federal old-age, survivors, and disability insurance system establish by title II of the Social Security Act extended to service performed by him in the exercise of his ministry or in the exercise of duties required by the order of which he is a member, or in the exercise of his profession as a Christian Science practitioner. For provisions relating to waiver certificates on Form 2031, see §§1.1402(e)(1)–1 through 1.1402(e)(6)–1.

(b) Application for exemption. An application for exemption on Form 4361 shall be filed in triplicate with the internal revenue officer or the internal revenue office, as the case may be, designated in the instructions relating to the application for exemption. The application for exemption must be filed within the time prescribed in §1.1402(e)–3A. If the last original Federal income tax return of an individual to whom paragraph (a) of this section applies which was filed before the expiration of such time limitation for filing an application for exemption shows no liability for tax on self-employment income, such return will be treated as an application for exemption, provided that before February 28, 1975 such individual also files a properly executed Form 4361.

(c) Approval of application for exemption. The filing of an application for exemption on Form 4361 by a minister, a member of a religious order, or a Christian Science practitioner does not constitute an exemption from the tax on self-employment income with respect to services performed by him in his capacity as a minister, member, or practitioner. The exemption is granted only if the application is approved by an appropriate internal revenue officer. See §1.1402(e)–4A relating to the period for which an exemption is effective.

[T.D. 7333, 39 FR 44448, Dec. 24, 1974; 39 FR 45216, Dec. 31, 1974]

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