Friday, June 16, 2006

Important IRS Publications for Churches

We put together a list of important publications by the IRS for Churches. These are helpful documents if you are starting a church, to know what the Federal Tax laws are and what you can do legally.

Check out the list below or click HERE for a PDF document to download and print:

Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations: Benefits and Responsibilities Under the Federal Tax Law

Publication 1828

This publication is a quick reference guide of federal tax law and procedures for churches and religious organizations to help them voluntarily comply with tax rules.

Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

Publication 4220

This publication presents general guidelines for organizations that seek tax-exempt status from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Although a church is not required to apply for 501(c)(3) to be exempt from federal income tax or to receive tax deductible contributions, the church may find it advantageous to obtain recognition of exemption.

Another important document with more specifics is Publication 557: Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization

Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

IRS Publication 4221

This publication presents general compliance guidelines for recordkeeping, reporting, and disclosure requirements that apply to organizations that have tax-exempt status from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Charitable Contributions—Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements
IRS Publication 1771

This publication explains the federal tax law for organizations such as charities and churches that receive tax-deductible charitable contributions and for taxpayers who make contributions.

Social Security and Other Information for the Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers

Publication 517

Unrelated Business Income Tax

Even though an organization is tax exempt, it still may be liable for tax on its unrelated business income. Unrelated business income is income from a trade or business, regularly carried on, that is not substantially related to the performance by the organization of its exempt purpose or function except that the organization needs the profits derived from this activity.

More details found at,,id=96104,00.html


IRS website

If you are setting up your church, there is a really helpful page on the IRS website about the “Life Cycle of a Public Charity.” It goes through a step-by-step order of what to do with links to the specific instructions. You can find it at the following link:,,id=122670,00.html

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