TN 34 (04-24)

RS 01802.073 Handling Inquiries About Ministerial Provisions — Operating Procedure

A. Operating Procedure - General

1. Guidelines for Inquiries

Explain the automatic coverage of ministers effective with 1968, including complete information about SE tax exemption, the application requirement, filing deadlines, and the effect of the exemption. Do not attempt to advise a clergy whether they should file for an exemption. If the minister raises specific questions about completing or filing an application for exemption, give them an IRS Form 4361 and refer them to the nearest IRS office.

2. Terms

If questioned about the meaning of terms used in the law, such as “public insurance” or “conscientiously opposed”, advise the inquirer that these terms are contained in provisions of the IRC, Section 1402(e), and refer the inquirer to IRS.

Broad general explanations may be provided.

3. Claims

If a clergy or their survivor wishes to file a claim, obtain an E/R (even if the clergy filed an application for exemption) to ascertain their insured status based on other earnings or ministerial earnings which are on their record.

B. Operating Procedure -- Revocation

Although section 1402(e)(4) of the IRC provides that an exemption may not be revoked, Congress permitted revocations three times; i.e., the Social Security Amendments of 1977 and the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. Each contained a provision for revocation within certain time periods.

Inquiries regarding revocation may be told that the exemption is irrevocable. (Also see the SSA Handbook 1130.4 for Can the exemption ever be revoked?). If further details are requested, refer the individual to IRS.

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RS 01802.073 - Handling Inquiries About Ministerial Provisions — Operating Procedure - 04/23/2024
Batch run: 04/23/2024