FB1. Our church would like to buy a parish house for our minister to use as a residence for him and his family. Can we do that?

FB1. Our church would like to buy a parish house for our minister to use as a residence for him and his family. Can we do that?


Short Answer

Yes, a church which is a registered charity may buy a parish house for the use of a clergy person.

Long Answer

The church must hold the registered title to the property. All costs associated with the parish house, such as mortgage payments, insurance, and maintenance, can be recorded by the church as charitable program expenses.

Registered charities do not need permission to spend funds that have already been accumulated to purchase property that is used for charitable purposes. However, if the church does not have the funds in hand, then under subsection 149.1(8) of the Income Tax Act, it can ask for written permission to accumulate property for a particular purpose. If the request is granted, the Canada Revenue Agency will indicate the terms, conditions, and time period for the accumulation of property.

If your church supplies a residence for your minister, there will be tax implications for him. A member of the clergy who is given a residence to live in can claim the clergy residence deduction. Section 8 (1) (c) of the Income Tax Act sets out this deduction.

More...

For further information, see:
Charities Directorate Newsletter No.23 - Clergy Residence Deduction
Asking for permission to accumulate property