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May church feed homeless without a separate entity?

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May church feed homeless without a separate entity?

Is a church permitted to provide shelter and meals to the homeless without creating a separate nonprofit organization to do so? Does that activity fall under the definition of an "integrated auxiliary of a church" if it is not done through a separate organization apart from the church?

Many churches provide shelter and meals to the homeless without creating a separate entity to do so, but that activity is not classified by the Internal Revenue Service or others as an “integrated auxiliary” if it is not done through a separate entity.  An integrated auxiliary of a church is not required to file a federal Form 990 tax information return and is excluded from coverage in most state charitable solicitation registration laws.  But an integrated auxiliary is a separate entity, normally affiliated with the church, sharing religious doctrine, for which at least one officer or director is appointed by the church, reporting finances to the church, and requiring distribution of its net assets to the church upon dissolution.  The activity you describe could be carried on by an integrated auxiliary that would have the status and protections of a church, but it doesn’t have to be.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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