The Tax Court recently reversed an IRS determination that a nonprofit religious corporation was not a church.
In reaching its decision, the Tax Court applied the following fourteen criteria developed by the IRS for determining whether a particular organization is in fact a church :
- a distinct legal existence;
- a recognized creed and form of worship;
- a definite and distinct ecclesiastical government;
- a formal code of doctrine and discipline;
- a distinct religious history;
- a membership not associated with any other church or denomination;
- an organization of ordained ministers;
- ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed studies;
- a literature of its own;
- established places of worship;
- regular congregations;
- regular worship services;
- Sunday schools for religious instruction of the young;
- schools for the preparation of ministers.
The IRS has stated that no single factor is controlling, and that all ...