Clergy, Nonclergy Religious Employment, or Member of Recognized Religious Sect
Check the box indicating you earned this income for religious employment if you are one of the people described below.
You should not check the box if this W-2 has Social Security tax withheld (Box 4) and Medicare taxes withheld (Box 6). Teachers, medical professionals, and support staff (such as janitors and administrative assistants) employed by a church often have amounts in Boxes 4 and 6. If this includes you, don't check the box.
If you're not sure if you should check the box, go ahead and check it. We'll ask you all of the right questions.
Clergy employment includes:
- Ministers: Individuals who are duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed by a religious body constituting a church or church denomination
- Members of religious orders: This includes individuals who have taken the vow of poverty and those who have not; the most common religious orders are those of the Catholic priests, Catholic nuns, and Buddhist monks
- Christian Science Practitioners and Readers: Christian Science practitioners are members in good standing with the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston Mass., who practice healing according to the teachings of Christian Science; Christian Science readers are considered the same as ordained, commissioned or licensed ministers
Nonclergy religious employment includes:
Religious workers and other church employees who have not been listed above as members of the clergy. If you're not sure if you are a church employee, check the box indicating you earned this income for religious employment, and we'll ask you all of the right questions.
Member of recognized religious sect:
In order to be a member of a recognized religious sect the following criteria must be met:
- You must be conscientiously opposed to accepting benefits from any private or public insurance that makes payments for death, disability, old age, retirement, medical care, or provides services for medical care
- You must waive all rights to receive any Social Security payments or benefits and agree that no benefits or payments will be made to anyone else based on your wages and self-employment income
- It is the practice, and has been for a substantial period of time, for members of the sect or division to provide for their dependent members in a manner that is reasonable in view of the members' general level of living
- The sect or division must have been in existence at all times since December 31, 1950.
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