The New IRS Tax Guide for Churches

Article summary. The IRS has issued an updated tax guide for churches that addresses a number of tax issues pertaining to both churches and ministers. The tax guide provides helpful information on a number of issues, but unfortunately it also perpetuates confusion on a few critical concerns. This article will summarize the contents of the IRS tax guide, and point out its strengths and weaknesses.

Key point. The IRS Tax Guide for Churches and Other Religious Organizations can be ordered by calling the IRS toll-free forms number, 1-800-TAX-FORM (829-3676). Ask for IRS Publication 1828. Or, you can download a copy on the IRS website, www.irs.gov/eo.

Key point. The IRS has asked for public comment on its tax guide for churches. Ministers, tax professionals, and any other interested persons are free to submit comments to the IRS. Comments (written only) should be addressed to: Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20224, Attn: T:EO:CE&O.

Earlier this year the IRS released a "Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations" (the "Guide") that is designed to provide churches and ministers with guidance on a variety of common tax issues. This article will review the main provisions of the Guide, and point out its strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps most importantly, the Guide contains useful information regarding political activities by churches.

This article will address topics according to the Guide's table of contents, as follows:

Introduction
Tax Exempt Status

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