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
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.