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Non-Profit Filing for Churches

What churches should know about IRS Form 990-N?

Generally, tax-exempt organizations need to file Form 990 or 990-EZ. Tax-exempt churches that have annual gross receipts not normally in excess of $25,000 ($50,000 for tax years ending on or after December 31, 2010) are not required to file the annual information return; they may be required to file an annual electronic notice, however. In addition, churches and certain church-affiliated organizations are exempt from filing.

What types of churches need to File?

Churches (including integrated auxiliaries and conventions or associations of churches) that meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are automatically considered tax exempt and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of exempt status from the IRS. Donors are allowed to claim a charitable deduction for donations to churches that meet the Section 501(c)(3) requirements.

What is your affiliation with the church?

If you’re affiliated with a church or an association of churches, your application to the IRS will need you to describe by what actions your affiliation is demonstrated through the churches. Basically, you need to be able to convey how you are financially associated with religious institutions to the IRS.

Do churches need to file for an exemption?

Churches, including auxiliaries, conventions, and associations of churches, that meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are automatically considered tax exempt and do not need to apply for and obtain recognition of exempt status from the IRS. Additionally, since churches and certain other religious organizations are not required to file an annual return or notice with the IRS, they are not subject to automatic revocation of exemption for failure to file.

What type of churches are not required to file Form 990?

Churches, assocations of churches, integrated auxiliaries of churches, and foreign religous missions are exempt from filing Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N, regardless of their size. These religious organizations are exempt from federal income tax as 501(c)(3) organizations whether they file an application for exemption with the IRS or not. In addition, while the IRS does revoke the exempt status of most nonprofits that fail to file their Form 990 Series, that is not the case for churches.

Which 990 Form Should Churches File?

Churches (including integrated auxiliaries and conventions or associations of churches) that meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are automatically considered tax exempt and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of exempt status from the IRS. Donors are allowed to claim a charitable deduction for donations to churches that meet the Section 501(c)(3) requirements. With that being said, churches can file Form 990 N, Form 990 EZ, or Form 990 long depending on their gross receipts. On the form, a church provides information on the activities and policies of its charitable facilities that it operated during the tax year. This includes facilities operated either directly or through disregarded entities or joint ventures.

Choose Your Gross Receipt and Start Filing with ExpressTaxExempt

Conditions Forms to File Action
Gross receipts normally ≤ $50,000 Form 990-N Start Filing Now
Gross receipts < $200,000, and Total assets < $500,000 Form 990-EZ Start Filing Now
Gross receipts ≥ $200,000, or Total assets ≥ $500,000 Form 990 Start Filing Now

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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers related to e-filing IRS Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N (e-Postcard) and Extension Form 8868 with our Frequently Asked Questions.

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