IRS Information for Churches
Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations – A quick reference guide of federal tax law and procedures for churches and religious organizations, to help them comply with tax rules.
Exemption Requirements – Section 501(c)(3) Organizations – A brief description of the requirements for exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3).
Unrelated Business Income Tax – Unrelated business income tax requirements for tax-exempt organizations.
Church Filing Requirements – A brief description of annual filing requirements for tax-exempt churches and religious organizations.
The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations – Political Campaign Activity by section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Note related material on this topic provided by the Family Research Council..
Special Rules Limiting IRS Authority to Audit a Church – Overview of rules on tax inquiries and examinations of churches.
Tax Information for Charitable Organizations – Tax information for charitable, religious, scientific, literary, and other organizations exempt under Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) section 501(c)(3).
Publication 4573 – Group Exemptions – A publication describing, in question and answer format, the federal tax rules that apply to group rulings of exemption under Internal Revenue Code section 501.
General IRS Forms
- Form W-2 – Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification – This form is used by employers to report annual compensation, withheld income and FICA taxes for each employee. Churches must issue this form to each employee on or before January 31. Ordained ministers pay self-employment taxes instead of FICA taxes.
- Form W-4 – Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate
- Form 1099 – Miscellaneous Income (for Self-Employed Contractors) – Churches use this form to report compensation of $600 or more paid to non-employees for services during any one year. This includes but is not limited to evangelists, guest speakers and self-employed persons who perform miscellaneous services for the church (plumbers, cleaning, lawn maintenance, etc.) who are not incorporated.
- Form I-9 – Employment Eligibility Verification (Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)
- Form 941 – Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return – Churches must file this form quarterly with the IRS if they have at least one employee other than ordained staff. The amounts reported on a church’s W-2 forms at year-end must reconcile with the 941 forms filed during the year. Churches with only one employee, when that employee is ordained, are required to file only a W-2 form.
- Publication 517 – Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers
IRS Gateway Web Sites
- Tax Information for Churches and Religious Organizations
- Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits
Law & Tax Resources
Church Finance Today – With the goal of keeping your church safe, legal and financially sound, Church Finance Today is available in both print and digital formats.
Church Law & Tax – Access the online library of law, tax, finance and risk management articles at the Church Law & Tax website. Available in both print and digital versions, Church Law & Tax Report offers reliable, up-to-date tax information and prepares you for new legal developments that directly impact your ministry.
Frieze Consulting – Frieze Consulting is a Church Management Consulting Firm that assists and equips church leaders in their organizational, operational and administrative functions. Frieze manuals and materials cover a wide range of proper business, organizational, personnel and financial practices and procedures. Resources can be purchased directly from the Frieze website.