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Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Public Inspection of Tax-Exemption Applications

§ 6.03.03
Key point 6-03.03. Federal law requires tax-exempt organizations to provide a copy of their application for exemption (and supporting materials) upon request. There is no exemption for churches, although many churches have not applied for recognition of tax-exempt status and therefore will have no documents to provide in response to such a request. Many churches are covered by a denominational agency's "group exemption" ruling. Such churches must provide a copy of the group ruling in response to a request for a copy of their tax exemption application.

Any organization that is exempt from federal income taxation (including churches and religious denominations) must make available a copy of the following materials in response to a request from a member of the public:

  • the exemption application form (Form 1023) submitted to the IRS;
  • any supporting documents submitted with the exemption application, including legal briefs or a response to questions from the IRS; and

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