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Income earned by a nun who has taken a vow of poverty and relinquishes the income to her religious order

October 31, 2016 • Patrick J. Bowler • Log In to Post Comments

Is the income earned by a nun, who has taken a vow of poverty, and turns her income over to a religious order, excludable from her taxable income for California tax purposes? For federal tax purposes, it is excluded from income.



Ultimately, a nun who takes a vow of poverty should have her income excluded from gross income under IRC section 61, which California conforms to.  There is nothing specific in the code, but I recommend reading Fogarty v. U.S., 780 F.2d 1005, which is a 1986 case out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  The case deals specifically with income earned by a Jesuit Priest for teaching at the University of Virginia.  The case provides a good discussion of the vow of poverty requirements in order for a priest, minister, pastor, nun, etc., to exclude their income from tax.


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