No. A church cannot pay FICA for someone who is a minister for tax purposes. By law, ministers are always treated as self-employed for Social Security purposes and therefore are subject to SECA taxes on their ministerial earnings. Churches that pay FICA for their ministers are not doing them a favor — they are violating the law. When churches mistakenly pay FICA for ministers, they can cause errors in Social Security Administration records that may affect future benefits.
For more information, visit GuideStone.org/TaxGuide