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Gaylor v. Mnuchin—A Step Toward Greater Clarity on Clergy Tax Exemptions?
On October 6, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin declared section 107(2) of the Internal Revenue Code unconstitutional. The provision permits “ministers of the gospel” to exclude from income compensation designated as a housing allowance, thus giving churches and other religious organizations the ability to provide tax-free housing to their ordained ministers. The government foregoes around $800 million in revenue per year as a result of this provision, and, if the decision stands, it could have a significant impact on churches and other religious institutions.