I want to know whether my church is in good standing with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. The pastor will not provide information on our membership, the Board meeting minutes, or our finances. What can I do?
Some churches formally seek recognition of exemption from the IRS, but they are not required to do so and the IRS does not have a comprehensive list. A church can have (c)(3) status by virtue of its activities, whether or not it files with the IRS. (See Ready Reference Page: “What Constitutes ‘Church’ Eligible for Exemption.”)
Whether you have the right to review the books and records of the church depends on the type of entity it is. If it is a nonprofit membership corporation and you are a member, you probably have legal rights to review the books and records for a proper corporate purpose. But many churches, probably most, are not organized in that form and the parishioners have no such rights. In that case, your recourse is probably to find a more congenial church.
April 17, 2009
Charity fundraising event planners have to worry not only about the invitation list, the menu and the program. They also have to worry about a host of legal issues that, if ignored, could turn the event into a financial and public relations disaster. This webinar will explore the top ten areas of legal concern for a charity’s annual gala dinner dance, bikathon, day in the park, or other special fundraising event. Learn more in our pre-recorded webinar.
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