District Court Strikes Down Rental Allowance Tax Exemption for Ministers

Posted In Employment

A federal court recently declared unconstitutional Internal Revenue Code Section 107(2), which excludes from gross income a rental allowance paid to a “minister of the gospel” as part of his or her compensation, on the grounds that it violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  Religious institutions offering such allowances should closely monitor further developments in this area of the law and consider alternative compensation strategies if federal courts in their jurisdiction adopt similar holdings.

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Anthony A. Bongiorno
      Anthony (Tony) A. Bongiorno has extensive jury trial experience in a variety of commercial matters and serves as the partner-in-charge of the Firm’s Boston office. Tony has successfully tried cases in various federal and state courts around the country. In addition to his significant jury trial experience, Tony has also tried matters under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution and the International Chamber of Commerce. Tony has represented clients in many industries, including energy, health care, biotech and construction. Read Anthony A. Bongiorno's full bio.


Joseph K. Urwitz
Joseph (Joe) K. Urwitz focuses his practice on employee benefits, executive compensation and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciary matters. He advises clients on a wide range of issues, including fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions, employee benefit matters arising in mergers and acquisitions, benefits issues unique to nonprofit entities, deferred compensation arrangements, equity award and bonus plan design, employment and severance arrangements, and qualified plan work. Read Joe Urwitz's full bio.


Mary K. Samsa






Ralph E. DeJong
Ralph E. DeJong advises clients on the compensation, executive benefits and employee benefits of tax-exempt organizations. He provides counsel on designing and preparing deferred and incentive compensation arrangements, leading governing boards in the review and approval of executive and physician compensation arrangements, negotiating and preparing executive and physician employment agreements, and analyzing the private inurement and intermediate sanctions implications of executive and physician compensation and benefit arrangements. Read Ralph DeJong's full bio.


Todd Solomon
Todd A. Solomon is the head of McDermott’s Benefits, Compensation & Employment Practice Group. Todd focuses his practice on designing, amending and administrating pension, profit sharing, 401(k), employee stock ownership and 403(b) plans, as well as nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements. He also counsels privately and publicly held corporations and tax-exempt entities regarding fiduciary issues under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), employee benefits issues involved in corporate transactions, executive compensation matters and the implementation of benefit programs for domestic partners of employees. Read Todd A. Solomon's full bio.

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