Why We Are NOT 501c3
November 3, 2014
Most people are under the impression that any church must be like any other non-profit, and become 501c3. However, this is untrue, as outlined on this page:
Except for churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and public charities whose annual gross receipts are normally less than $5,000, organizations will not be treated as described in section 501(c)(3) unless they notify the IRS that they are applying for recognition of section 501(c)(3) status.
Annual Exempt Organization Information Returns Every organization exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code section 501(a) must file an annual information return except:
A church, an interchurch organization of local units of a church, a convention or association of churches, An integrated auxiliary of a church,
A church-affiliated organization that is exclusively engaged in managing funds or maintaining retirement programs,
A school below college level affiliated with a church or operated by a religious order, even though it is not an integrated auxiliary of a church,
Certain church-affiliated mission societies that conduct activities in foreign countries, or activities directed at persons in foreign countries,
An exclusively religious activity of any religious order. . . .
As such, a church is already exempt, and does not need to be a 501c3. There are even some government grants, at various levels, for such organizations, reenforcing that one does not need to be a 501c3. In addition, there are many private organizations, that provide funding to churches, and such organizations.