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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Ministers of religion: overview

Sections 290 and 351 ITEPA 2003

The guidance at EIM60005 to EIM60055 covers the tax treatment of clergy and ministers of religion who are attached to a particular church or congregation. It uses the words minister and minister of religion to cover all clergy and ministers of religion. The guidance tells you:

  • whether the minister is chargeable on employment income or on Trading Income, see EIM60005
  • for ministers with employment income, whether the particular income is chargeable, see EIM60007 onwards
  • for ministers with employment income, what expenses and capital allowances they can deduct, see EIM60040 onwards.

Most of the larger religious denominations are represented on the Churches Main Committee. This body issues circulars on tax matters from time to time. Such circulars have usually been seen by the Inland Revenue before issue, but they do not supersede these instructions. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

The guidance does not cover ministers doing jobs that could be done by a layman, such as administration or lecturing. The ordinary employment rules apply to those jobs.

Members of religious orders, other than those acting as ministers, are dealt with separately, see EIM69700.