Frequently Asked Questions about
Ministry Expense Accounts – Anglican Church
These are some of the most commonly asked questions about relevant to Churches.
If you can’t see an answer to your question, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
The Anglican Church advise:
Q. How much can you salary sacrifice to your MEA account?
11.1 A Minister’s Expense Account is a way of keeping account for the minister of benefits provided by the parish (eg, travel, housing, etc) plus amounts sacrificed from the stipend, and the expenses paid from that account. Currently the tax legislation does not limit the amount of the stipend which can be sacrificed under stipend sacrifice arrangements. However, it is recommended that the amount sacrificed should not exceed 40% of the stipend allocated. Refer sections 6.14 and 6.15. Guidelines for Remuneration
6.13 It is important to note that while non-cash benefits provided to members of the ministry staff are exempt from tax and payment summary reporting, social security and family assistance legislation may take the value of many exempt benefits into account when assessing eligibility for various Centrelink income support payments – refer section 4.
Q. What can be claimed from the MEA Account?
The type of expenses which may be paid from an MEA on behalf of a member of the ministry staff include (but are not limited to) –
(a) Expenses in relation to the purchase, financing and operating costs of a motor vehicle (including a bicycle) used for ministry purposes; expenses for local, domestic or international travel related to the pursuit of the member of the ministry staff’s pastoral duties and professional development; expenses of the member of the ministry staff’s spouse and/or children in directly accompanying the staff member or spouse on ministry related matters; and expenses of the member of the ministry staff’s spouse in representing the staff member on ministry related matters.
(b) Costs associated with the provision and upkeep of the residence in which the member of the ministry staff lives; eg, rent, loan repayments, electricity, water, gas, council rates, insurances, security monitoring and building maintenance. Where a loan has a redraw facility any amount redrawn should not exceed the amounts previously repaid from sources other than the MEA. 12
(c) Education, professional development, supervision, mentoring and professional debriefing costs for the member of the ministry staff, including but not limited to books, DVDs, etc, conference fees.
(d) Ministry related expenses including but not limited to telephone, mobile, fax, internet connection, subscriptions, periodicals, newspapers, computer software and hardware, provision of home office furniture, equipment and supplies, clerical shirts and liturgical attire, hospitality and cleaning costs, gifts made in relation to ministry (eg, parish offertory, CMS, etc) and other expenses incurred in respect of a member of the ministry staff’s duties.
(e) Education expenses of the ministry staff member’s dependent children.
(f) Private health insurance premiums for the ministry staff member and family.
g) Personal contributions to superannuation. Refer section 7.10.
(h) Other expenses of the ministry staff member that are approved by the parish council
Q. Can the balance of the Ministry Expense Account be paid out to the minister when leaving position?
The minister can produce invoices & receipts to make claims against the MEA account to clear the balance.
If a cash payment is made it becomes taxable income but Anglican Minister’s can transfer the balance of their MEA account to the new church where he is taking up a position.