Pastor, Church & Law
Mail Order Churches
Key point 5-01.2. A "mail order church" is a sham organization that is created in order to reduce or eliminate the founder's tax liability. Often, such organizations purchase a "church charter" through the mail from an organization that also offers ministerial "credentials." Such organizations are not recognized as "churches" by the IRS.
In recent years, many taxpayers have attempted to exclude all or part of their income from federal taxation through the creation of a mail order church. The IRS Internal Revenue Manual addresses the subject of mail order churches as follows:
The term "mail order church" refers to organizations set up pursuant to "church charters" purchased through the mail from organizations that claim that the charters and other ...
This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."
Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.