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Life celebrations

10 March 2009
Issue: 4197 / Categories: Forum & Feedback , Income Tax , VAT
An ordained priest performs christenings, weddings and funeral services for which he charges a fee. He also holds weekly services at a church that he hires for this purpose. Can the hire charge be set against the service fees?

I have a client who is an ordained priest but who belongs to an independent organisation of churches.

His main business – which is carried out as a self-employed person rather than an employee of a church organisation – is the provision of funeral services christenings and weddings.

He also holds a weekly service in a local independent church building for which he pays a hire charge.

In his provision of funeral services he always pays at least one pastoral visit beforehand and invites the bereaved relatives to contact him after the event which they may do at his weekly service.

The funeral services are mostly carried out at the crematorium but occasionally in other places. The doubt that is in my mind is regarding the hire charge that he pays when holding his weekly services.

Obviously he does not make a charge for attendance –...

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