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IRS Guide for Churches-Religious Orgs

IRS Guide for Churches-Religious Orgs

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Published by Deb Della Piana
Here are the IRS Tax Exempt Guidelines for Churches and Religious Organizations
Here are the IRS Tax Exempt Guidelines for Churches and Religious Organizations

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Published by: Deb Della Piana on Feb 20, 2012
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02/20/2012

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Internal Revenue ServiceTax Exempt and Government EntitiesExempt Organizations
 
Internal Revenue ServiceTax Exempt and Government EntitiesExempt Organizations
tax guide for
ChurchesandReligiousOrganizations
benefits and responsibilities under the federal tax law
 
Congress has enacted special tax laws applicable tochurches, religious organizations, and ministers in rec-ognition of their unique status in American society andof their rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of  the Constitution of the United States. Churches and reli- gious organizations are generally exempt from income tax and receive other favorable treatment under the taxlaw; however, certain income of a church or religious organization may be subject to tax, such as income from an unrelated business.The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers this quick reference guide of federal tax law and procedures forchurches and religious organizations to help them voluntarily comply with tax rules. The contents of this publication reflect the IRS interpretation of tax lawsenacted by Congress, Treasury regulations, and court decisions. The information given is not comprehensive, however, and does not cover every situation. Thus, it is not intended to replace the law or be the sole sourceof information. The resolution of any particular issue may depend on the specific facts and circumstancesof a given taxpayer. In addition, this publication covers subjects on which a court may have made a decision more favorable to taxpayers than the interpretation by the IRS. Until these differing interpretations are resolved by higher court decisions, or in some other way, this publication will present the interpretation of  the IRS. For more detailed tax information, the IRS has assistance programs and tax information products for churches and religious organizations, as noted in the back of this publication. Most IRS publications and forms can be downloaded from the IRS Web site at
 www.irs.gov
, orordered by calling toll-free (800) 829-3676. Specialized information can be accessed through the ExemptOrganizations (EO) Web site under the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities division via
 www.irs.gov/eo
or by calling EO Customer Account Services toll-free at(877) 829-5500.The IRS considers this publication a living document,one that will be revised to take into account future devel-opments and feedback. Comments on the publication may be submitted to the IRS at the following address: Internal Revenue Service1111 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20224 Attn: T:EO:CE&O
 
1
Table of Contents
Tax-Exempt Status

3
Recognition of Tax-Exempt Status

3Applying for Tax-Exempt Status

3Public Listing of Tax-Exempt Organizations

4
 Jeopardizing Tax-Exempt Status

5
Inurement and Private Benefit

5Substantial Lobbying Activity 

5Political Campaign Activity 

7
Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT)

16
Net Income Subject to the UBIT

16Examples of Unrelated Trade orBusiness Activities

16Tax on Income-Producing Activities

17
 Employment Tax

18
Social Security and Medicare Taxes—Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA)

18Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA)

18
Special Rules forCompensation of Ministers

19
 Withholding Income Tax for Ministers

19Parsonage or Housing Allowances

19Social Security and Medicare Taxes—Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) vs Self-Employment Contributions Act(SECA) Tax

19
 Payment Of Employee Business Expenses

20
Accountable Reimbursement Plan

20Non-accountable Reimbursement Plan

20
 Recordkeeping Requirements

21
Books of Accounting and Other Types of Records
21Length of Time to Retain Records

21
 Filing Requirements

22
Information and Tax Returns—Forms to File and Due Dates

22
Charitable Contributions—Substantiation and Disclosure Rules

24
 Recordkeeping
Recordkeeping Rules

24Substantiation Rules

24Disclosure Rules that Apply to
Quid Pro Quo
Contributions

24Exceptions to Disclosure Statement

25
Special Rules Limiting IRS Authority to Audit a Church

26
Tax Inquiries and Examinations of Churches

26Audit Process

26
Glossary

27
 Help From The IRS

28
IRS Tax Publications to Order

28IRS Customer Service

inside back cover
EO Customer Service

inside back cover
EO Web Site

inside back cover
EO Update

inside back cover 

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