931.Work for Nonprofit Religious, Charitable, Educational, etc. Institutions
931.1Is work performed before January 1, 1984, for a nonprofit religious, charitable or educational organization covered by Social Security?
Work you performed prior to January 1, 1984, for a nonprofit religious, charitable, educational, or other organization exempt from income tax (under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code) is not covered by Social Security.
Note: If the organization waived its exemption from Social Security taxes by filing a waiver certificate and a list of concurring employees, then you may be covered by Social Security. The organization can terminate Social Security coverage by giving two years' advance notice, if coverage had been in effect for eight years or more.
See SSA's electronic fact sheet "If You Work For A Nonprofit Organization," Publication No. 05-10027 for more information.
931.2Is work performed on January 1, 1984 or later for a nonprofit religious, charitable or educational organization covered by Social Security?
Beginning on January 1, 1984, work you perform for a nonprofit religious, charitable, educational or other organization is covered by Social Security. Your services are covered for work done on or after January 1, 1984, even if you previously terminated coverage.
Note: Since 1984, nonprofit organizations may not terminate coverage of employees.
931.3Can nonprofit religious, charitable or educational organizations elect to be excluded from Social Security coverage?
A church or qualified church-controlled organization, opposed for religious reasons to payment of Social Security taxes, may elect to have services performed by their employees (beginning January 1, 1984) excluded from the definition of employment for Social Security purposes. Organizations in existence when the legislation was passed had to elect before October 31, 1984. Other organizations must elect before the date that the first quarterly tax return is due.
931.4How are services of employees of a church or organization that elected to be excluded from Social Security coverage considered?
If you work for a church or organization that is excluded from the definition of employment for Social Security purposes, your work is treated as services performed in a trade or business. Your work is covered as self-employment (see §1136), provided payment for your work in a calendar year is $100 or more as required prior to 1984.
Note: Employees of a nonprofit organization required by law to be subject to the Civil Service Retirement System (such as the Legal Services Corporation) are treated like Federal civilian employees for Social Security coverage purposes.
Last Revised: Nov. 13, 2015