How to Start a Church Without 501(c)(3)

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF® | Reviewed by Editorial Team

Updated on December 14, 2022

Church 501(c)(3)

The IRS considers most religious institutions, particularly churches, 501(c)(3)s automatically, with no need to apply. If you feel that your particular church may not be automatically eligible, you may still apply formally. The IRS offers an application, form 1023, on their website. There is a $600 filing fee.

How to Start a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization FAQs

What is a 501(c)(3) organization?

A 501(c)(3) organization is a non-profit organization with tax exempt status that is dedicated to the general well-being of society.

How Do You Start a Church Without 501(c)(3)?

The IRS considers churches 501(c)(3) organizations automatically; there is no need to apply. The biggest reason for the IRS to rescind a church's status is if they lobby or engage in political activity.

Is a 501(c)(3) organization tax exempt?

A 501(c)(3) organization is tax exempt so long as it remains true to its stated mission and remains compliant with the IRS.

What does 501(c)(3) mean?

501(c)(3) is the internal revenue code (IRC) section for organizations with tax exempt status. 501(c)(3) falls under internal revenue code 501(c).

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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