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 clergyman whether he should file for an exemption. If the minister raises specific questions about completing or filing an application for exemption, give him an IRS Form 4361 and refer him 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 clergyman or his survivor wishes to file a claim, obtain an E/R (even if the clergyman filed an application for exemption) to ascertain his insured status based on other earnings or ministerial earnings which are on his 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. If further details are requested, refer the individual to IRS.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0301802073
RS 01802.073 - Handling Inquiries About Ministerial Provisions -- Operating Procedure - 08/16/2005
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:08/16/2005