Legal Process to Create a Nonprofit Tax-Exempt Church – Is A Church Automatically A 508c1a Ministry Or Do They Have To Apply
Matthew 5:15 says, No one lights a lamp, then sets it under a basket. Rather, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the home.
I want to share with you briefly the value of forming your Christian organization as a church, a few examples of IRS approved churches, and also the ideal way to register a church.
Why do you need church status for your ministry?
The value of your church compared to some other nonprofit is greater rights, and fewer restrictions.
First, churches don’t file income tax returns. All other nonprofits do.
Second, churches do not have to provide records of receipts, disbursements, nor do they must provide testimony under oath, of such statements such as all other nonprofits do.
Third, churches have special audit protections, where all other nonprofits don’t.
In case you were wondering if your organization can qualify, here is some examples of
IRS approved churches and church ministries:
The Salvation Army. Since 1958, classified as a church and association of churches, their principal income comes from thrift sales and donations.
Young Life, a non-denominational church which focuses on youth and meet at recreation areas.
The Billy Graham evangelical Association, one of the largest evangelism ministries in America approved for association of churches in 2016. After 66 years of operation as a nonprofit they had been audited by the IRS and then changed the organization to church status.
Focus on The Family, a ministry that offers guidance and counselling on parenting, marriage and other subjects through radio, books and social media.
The law firm, Liberty Counsel, an integrated auxiliary of Thomas Road Baptist Church.
Apart from the various types of churches, there are different ways to organize a church.
There is not any statute anywhere that says a church must be a 501c3.
A church could be organized as a 501c3, a 501c4, a 501d, a for-profit company or even a 508c1a.
How your church is organized is crucial to what it can and can’t do.
The ideal way to register your church would be a 508c1a because it doesn’t wave rights and have speech restrictions, compared to all other nonprofits.
We specialize in 508c1a registration and formation. Just as a lampstand holds a candle to be a light to everyone, a 508c1a holds your ministry to be a light to everyone in the world.
Contact us to begin today.