2021 Tax Calendar for Churches and Ministries

Written by Mariel Villarreal on Jan 11, 2021 in IRS Compliance

As we step into the New Year, it's time to prepare for tax season. While this can be an overwhelming time of year for pastors and ministry leaders everywhere, it doesn't have to be! 

To help you approach tax season with confidence, we have created a 2021 tax calendar specifically for churches and ministries. We hope and pray this helps you in your ministry endeavors to accomplish something great in 2021.

Read today's blog to learn the most important deadlines for forms and taxes, and get a copy of your FREE tax calendar...

Important first quarter tax deadlines and dates for 2021

Before January 1

Hold an annual meeting of the Board of Directors. 

In this meeting, you will want to cover:

If you don’t know what the agenda should be or what to cover in the annual meeting, we provide a service that can prepare annual meeting minutes for you. With meeting minutes prepared for you, all you have to do is gather your board members together and approve each item listed. 

Important reminder: If you have not yet held your annual board meeting, you will want to schedule that as soon as possible.

January 15

Add up qualifying housing allowance expenses.

With the StartRight Service, ministers who have had a housing allowance properly designated by the church must add up their qualifying housing allowance expenses. You can do this by calculating the actual value of the home and the fair market rental value.

Ministers must make the estimated tax payment for the fourth quarter of 2020 using Form 1040-ES. 

If your church or ministry has non-ministerial employees and deposits payroll taxes monthly, the December 2020 payroll tax deposit is due. This tax deposit occurs on the 15th of every month unless the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday.

Need help with creating your annual board meeting minutes? Check out our KeepRIGHT Service. 

Learn More About the KeepRIGHT Service

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January 31

Provide tax-deductible contribution statements.

Yu will need to provide everyone who has made contributions to your church or ministry with tax-deductible contribution statements. 

Provide and file tax forms.


You will also need to provide Form W-2 to all of your employees, including the pastor. 

Be sure to carefully document any qualifying health insurance premiums your church paid for its staff. Per IRS requirement, you will report that information on line 12 of Form W-2. 

For those who have the Tax Suite, all you have to do is follow the step-by-step instructions to file Form W-2 electronically. 

If you would rather have someone else file your taxes, our Minister's Tax Return Service will file your taxes correctly. Plus, you'll save money by getting every legal tax benefit allowed to you.


Send Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, to the Social Security Administration along with Copy A of all employee W-2's you issued for the calendar year 2020.

If you have the Tax Suite, all you need to do is follow the instructions to file Form W-3 with your W-2 forms electronically. If filed electronically, the due date is extended to April 2.


Provide 1099-MISC forms to independent contractors, including guest speakers and unincorporated landlords who received $600 or more in payments or honorariums in 2020. 

If you paid anyone in royalties of $10 or more, give that individual a Form 1099-MISC. 

If you used the services of an attorney and paid $1 or more for his or her services, you must issue a 1099-MISC. 

Again, for those with the Tax Suite, you can just follow the instructions for filing the 1099-MISC and Form 1096.

You can refer to here for any further forms and instructions regarding filing to the IRS. 

Apply for self-employment tax exemption.

Self-employment tax exemption is an excellent way for pastors and ministers to save on their taxes. 

This is the perfect time to apply for the Self-Employment Tax Exemption before the deadline on April 15.

To speak to a specialist about this, call us at 877-494-4655.

File Form 941 and others.

File Form 941 (payroll tax) for the 4th quarter of 2020 and deposit any unpaid taxes.

Or, if your employment tax liability was $1,000 or less and the IRS sent you a written letter to allow you to use 944, file Form 944 for the 2020 tax year.

File Form 945 to report income tax withheld (backup withholdings) for 2020 on independent contractors, including citizen and non-citizen guest speakers.

February 14

If your church or ministry has non-ministerial employees and deposits payroll taxes monthly, the January 2021 payroll tax deposit is due.

February 28

Send Copy A of Form 1099-MISC with Form 1096 to the IRS. For those of you who have the W-2 and the 1099-MISC Kit, you can just follow the instructions provided. 

If you file these electronically, the due date is extended to March 31.

March 16

If you have non-ministerial employees and deposit payroll taxes monthly, the February 2021 payroll tax deposit is due. 

Your Free 2021 Tax Calendar

Keeping up-to-date with important tax deadlines and forms throughout the year can be confusing and overwhelming. That's why we are here to help!

We created a full-year calendar of all the tax dates for churches and ministries. As a gift to you, give us a call at 877-494-4655 and ask one of our team members for the complementary 2021 Tax Calendar. 

Get Your Free 2021 Tax Calendar!

Let us take on the burden of handling your taxes so you can focus on what God has called you to do. 
We offer many services to help with taxes and annual filings to the IRS, so you don't have to worry if you're doing it right. Click below to schedule a call with one of our specialists to learn how our team at StartCHURCH can serve you.


Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Raul Rivera

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