Should churches stop being 501(c)3?

Posted by Ricky Grimsley in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

Since i think we can all see how america is turning, should churches stop being 501c 3’s and start paying taxes to insulate ourselves from the coming “discrimination” over gay marriage and hiring “non-christians”? Ay thoughts or suggestions?

109 Comments

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Carl Murphy

    You can protect yourself and church by writing in your bylaws that no marriage will be performed unless both parties are members in good standing and sign a profession of faith, which means the pastor does not conduct nor the building used except by members etc. you can also write it for employees. That is the recommendations of our church attorney. Like the Quakers and the draft they must be sincerely held beliefs of the church and no exceptions, not even for a board members daughter that is a non believer

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Ricky Grimsley

    What about “hate speech” stuff like preaching homosexuality is a a sin? Isnt their a law about 501c3 speaking out against things like that?

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Carl Murphy

    I do not know, the only thing I know is prohibited is politics. That’s the difference in saying a gay is going to hell and saying a Catholic is?

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    David Lewayne Porter

    I don’t believe we (The Church) will have to make that choice.
    I believe that the government will make it for us. But writing the clauses into the local by laws is strongly recommended as well.
    In addition to the by laws there has to be a written record kept of the minutes from an offically called church meeting with the motion, second, vote tally, and then list of attendees.

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Varnel Watson

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Michael Postlethwait

    If we give into that, then governments could fashion policies that favor some churches over others based on their core beliefs.

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Ricky Grimsley

    Yep

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Stan Wayne

    Churches are not 501.c.3

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    John Conger

    Churches incorporate as 501c3 all the time.

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Stan Wayne

    Churches incorporate – they do not need 501.c.3 because churches are authorized by the IRS to give tax deductible receipts without 501.c.3 merely by being incorporated in their state as a church

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Stan Wayne

    Incorporation in the state gives the right to claim state property tax exemption like a library or park or school or whatever –

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    John Conger

    No. A church is tax exempt on property tax without 501c3. I was a pastor for almost a decade and pastored when the cog gave us the option to incorporate. I declined. We never paid property tax on our church grounds. We actually owned several acres of brush that we did pay property tax on because we did not use it for religious purposes. A few years into it we started using it for boys camping and pioneers for Christ ministry and that allowed us to no longer pay property taxes on it.

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Carl Murphy

    Crazy not to incorporate, church gets sued individual members are responsible, incorporating creates a legal identity

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Ricky Grimsley

    With the irs as its legal head instead of jesus?

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Carl Murphy

    Again, don’t incorporate and let some kid fall in your parking lot, every member is liable. Also your pastor may want to talk to a tax advisor about housing and other benefits allowed to ministers

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Ricky Grimsley

    Insurance?

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    John Conger

    we had insurance to cover that and never incorporated. my mother in law fell in a braums where the floor had just been mopped and no wet floor signs were out. broke her hip. lawyer said they arent as easy to win as people think. he told her people have a reaponsibilty to watch where they walk. guess it depends on where you live

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Carl Murphy

    It is as good as your auto or home insurance, get a verdict for more than the coverages the members will be responsible

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Carl Murphy

    It also depends on the opposing attorney, why take a chance when 300 dollars will incorporate you?

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    John Conger

    we were also covered by denomination insurance not to mention if someone did get a judgement there is no inforcement of judgement. but this is still a moot point. i never saw any legal protection from a 501c3. where are you getting this?

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Ricky Grimsley

    Does it matter what you get if its a giant trap?

  • Reply March 30, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Corey Forsyth Having registered several 503 / LLC since the Tea Party non-profit scandals, it costs much more than just $300 to incorporate anymore.

    First off, you have to register it with your state ~$100 in fees alone
    Your registration for charitable solicitation is additional $50
    Plus you have to register a deed with your county appraiser’s office before you can proceed to a federal IRS tax exempt status as a corporation

    EIN has to be acquired before you can do anything additional. It does not cost anything. You can even get it online or over the phone, but you need to have it and be approved for it before you can proceed. IRS requires specific language in the articles of incorporation (in IRS Pub 557) to qualify for 501(c)(3) federal tax exemption. These provisions are not always included in state articles of incorporation templates.

    Application for 501(c) ranges between $400 and $850 (if you will operate above $10,000) and 1023-EZ takes between 3-6 months (maybe even more)

    If you do it alone, IRS projects 100+ hours of preparation time for a first-time applicant, that’s excluding calling them for case specific information on each individual registration

    If you decide to use online, template-based services it costs about $500-$600 in fees

    If you use a CPA or attorney who specialize in nonprofit organizations, it will be $2,500–5,000+ to prepare IRS 1023 applications for a SMALL organization. The application could then be denied and in need to re-file

    First year tax prepayment for the privilege of doing business as a corporation ranges from $800 to $1,000. Furthermore, Corporations are required to pay between $50 and $200 in government filing fees. Mandatory meetings for board of directors adds additional costs. And this is just for starters.

    Brotherhood Mutual has proposed a much cheaper protection: http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/4-steps-to-avoid-a-lawsuit-after-u-s-supreme-courts-decision-on-same-sex-marriage/

  • Reply March 30, 2016

    Carl Murphy

    You can also pay the sticker price for a car.

  • Reply March 30, 2016

    Carl Murphy

    But 501c3 and incorporation as a legal entity are two separate actions. One is for tax purposes the other for legal liability purposes.

  • Reply March 30, 2016

    Link Hudson

    Around 2009 or 2010 or so, I heard a man on Christian radio. Some of the things he said jibed with some things I believed the Lord showed me. I contacted the radio station, had an email forwarded to him, and invited him over for dinner.

    During our conversation, he said that the Lord had shown him that many of the churches that, at that time, we did not think would cave to the ‘gay’ agenda, would do so. He said the government was going to use taxes to pressure churches to comply with such things as hiring homosexuals, and that many churches would go along with it to keep their property. He also saw many people of God leaving these institutions.

    Get ready to lose your buildings if you have to and meet in homes.

  • Reply April 15, 2016

    Nina Mindova

  • Ricky Grimsley
    Reply June 28, 2016

    Ricky Grimsley

    Yes

  • Gilberto Rosado
    Reply June 28, 2016

    Gilberto Rosado

    Churches are not required to register with any Government agency. If you do, you are also obligated to submit to authority extra-church. FYI

  • David Lewayne Porter
    Reply October 26, 2016

    David Lewayne Porter

    They will give up their status or they will become a politically correct arm and extension of the government.

  • Eva Benevento
    Reply October 26, 2016

    Eva Benevento

    Why should churches pay taxes on monies that have already been taxed? The point of 501c3 is to give donors tax receipts so they can deduct the amounts from their income taxes. Taking away that status would only remove that tax break from donors. Taking it away may put people in the position of rethinking why they give.

    • David Lewayne Porter
      Reply October 26, 2016

      David Lewayne Porter

      Eva
      It is the same reason as paying income tax on what we earn and then sales tax on what we buy with thst same money.
      Add in property taxes in order to keep what we have purchased…..
      Never ending cycle.

  • Charlie Robin
    Reply October 26, 2016

    Charlie Robin

    David Lewayne Porter Would this be each local church decision or a corporate one?

  • David Lewayne Porter
    Reply October 26, 2016

    David Lewayne Porter

    For the denominational I am guessing their main offices, individual churches would be locally.
    For those incorporated and under a denomination it could go either way if they had the funds to do so.

  • Dennis Lear
    Reply October 27, 2016

    Dennis Lear

    No. We are always only 1 law away from another attack on churches. Whether it is to tap into the Lord’s money or to try to shape our beliefs. Toe the line in unison. If we start paying to keep the government out of our business, history reveals they will ALWAYS come back for more.

  • Charlie Robin
    Reply October 27, 2016

    Charlie Robin

    Some denominations are asking local churches to incorporate under separate chapter for both insurance and loan/credit purposes

  • Ricky Grimsley
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Ricky Grimsley

    Yes churches should stop being 501c3. There are legally not churches anymore tax exempt corporations whose legal head is the irs. Sounds blasphemous.

  • Stan Wayne
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Stan Wayne

    Churches are not 501.c.3
    Their donations can count as tax deductible without 501.c.3 merely by being incorporated as a church

  • Ricky Grimsley
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Ricky Grimsley

    I mean the churches that are 501c3 should stop being 501 c3

    • Stan Wayne
      Reply April 9, 2017

      Stan Wayne

      Hardly any are because they don’t need to be

  • Stan Wayne
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Stan Wayne

    Para church org needs 501.c.3 not churches

  • Tony Conger
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Tony Conger

    Los of churches are 501c3 and yes they should stop.

  • Stan Wayne
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Stan Wayne

    Please Google or ask a lawyer if Churches need to, bother to, are or will be 501.c3 – it is not done – I am a lawyer doing 501.c.3s

  • Tony Conger
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Tony Conger

    Not sure what you’re reading but no one on here is saying they need to be

  • Ricky Grimsley
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Ricky Grimsley

    My church is.

  • Tony Conger
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Tony Conger

    Church of God gave permission to all churches to become 501c3

  • Cor Leonis Johnson
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Cor Leonis Johnson

    I think we should wait and see what the courts look like in 3 or 4 years.

  • Ricky Grimsley
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Ricky Grimsley

    The courts are irrelevant if legal head of your church is the irs and not jesus.

  • Stan Wayne
    Reply April 9, 2017

    Stan Wayne

    Failure to communicate here – big time – no church needs to be 501c.3 to get the benefits that a parachurch organization that is 501c.3 gets. They just need state incorporation. No relationship with IRS is necessary – that is strictly the donor and his giving receipt issue

  • Reply August 18, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Philip Williams Jim Price given your last post about overspending by church and pastors what say ye?

  • Eddie Burdick
    Reply August 18, 2019

    Eddie Burdick

    If we ever get a democrat in office I think 8 love change that church will be taxed

    • Philip Williams
      Reply August 18, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Eddie Burdick commercial enterprises like the most outwardly successful churches ought to be taxed just like other businesses.

  • Ron Hamm
    Reply August 18, 2019

    Ron Hamm

    Every person who gives regularly to charity has already paid taxes before they give of what is left. To tax a non profit is a double tax.

  • Steve Losee
    Reply August 18, 2019

    Steve Losee

    501c3 is a charitable organization, exempt from taxation as an entity. Churces oten become dpeendent on this to maintain their largely unnecessary facilities, and local & state govts have threatened to revoke those of ministries that are faithful to Scripture. So yes, we should get rid of them and function without them.

  • Casius Leonidas
    Reply August 18, 2019

    Casius Leonidas

    If it’s a matter of government interference that’s one thing.
    If it’s to grow a mega church like a corporation, to avoid running afoul of the IRS (like Olsteen did), then I’d say no.

  • Salvatore Tropea Sr
    Reply August 18, 2019

    Salvatore Tropea Sr

    6 more years of President Trump
    and then The Rapture before the American persecution begins so let’s keep the deduction for now. It helps widowers as I to give more to the Church while lowering my taxable income!

  • Reply October 12, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Ricky Grimsley has it always been the plan to control 501c3 churches.?

  • Neil Steven Lawrence
    Reply October 16, 2019

    Neil Steven Lawrence

    Create a lobby in Washington that insists on tax free status and free speech and religious independence. It would be way bigger than the National Rifle Association and way more powerful. We do not have to roll over and die.

    Now is the time for wimpy Christians to become Warriors! I think we should stand up and preach against homosexuality more vibrantly and with greater determination. Maybe we could be like John Wesley and save our country from chaos and revolution!

    If I come back to the states and minister there I will not shrink back from denouncing homosexuality – I don’t on Facebook! Like God I despise homosexual behavior! We should never allow less than 1% of the population to determine the future of the majority.

    • Robert Erwine
      Reply October 16, 2019

      Robert Erwine

      sounds like something someone on the downlow would say .

  • Andrew T. Stube
    Reply October 16, 2019

    Andrew T. Stube

    yup just do a profit and loss

  • Reply October 16, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    seems like we are going this way Neil Steven Lawrence Robert Erwine

  • Shane Bellamy
    Reply October 16, 2019

    Shane Bellamy

    Be an at home church were everyone is volunteering and nobody is being paid.

    Make no business out of church and there would be no reason to register for tax breaks.

    Just a few friends coming together sharing a common interest and a place to bring new friends along to share the gospel to them.

  • RichardAnna Boyce
    Reply October 16, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    Yes as you cant serve God and mammon.

    • Reply October 16, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      are churches tax free in Auzzie land?

  • Reply February 20, 2020

    Varnel Watson

  • Steve Forsberg
    Reply February 20, 2020

    Steve Forsberg

    I suspect that about half of Pentecostal churches have bi-vocational senior pastors. Many Pentecostal churches are struggling financially. If they had to pay taxes, many would have to close.

  • Reply February 20, 2020

    Varnel Watson

  • James Michael Sanders
    Reply February 20, 2020

    James Michael Sanders

    I’m a Pastor of a small country Pentecostal Church and we are able to pay the normal expenses and meet needs. I also am bi-vocational I simply have to be and always have been. However if taxes got involved at this point we would probably have to meet without a building etc. I of course could be wrong, definitely not saying God can’t meet the needs.

    But I certainly believe the church should be a 501c unless they do away with it all together for every non profit organization. I believe we as Christians are also American citizens and should use our legal rights just like every other American citizen.

  • Reply February 20, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    this is true for so many churches in America today

  • Steve Losee
    Reply February 20, 2020

    Steve Losee

    I think so. Too many govt groups have used it as a threat when the ministry gets dependent on it. So let’s tell them to keep it & get on with the job.

  • Reply February 20, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    well Steve Losee but pls tell us as a Trump supporter Chris Westerman WHY is it that this happens UNDER the great and very much winning in everything current POTUS? Why is it also that CA is voting on a bill to limit preachers for calling gay ppl out for repentance? Nelson Banuchi Joe Absher

  • Steve Losee
    Reply February 20, 2020

    Steve Losee

    I believe Christians have a respite right now, though even a president should be limited in what he can do. At this point we’re being challenged at a state & local level. But I’m afraid that will change, either next year or 4 years hence, and we should should be ready to continue without the govt’s help.

  • Reply February 21, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    I dont know HOW you can say that Steve Losee the CHURCH in America at least today is in its worst shape in centuries http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/jezebel-spirit-waging-war-against-america/

  • Reply April 13, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Ricky Grimsley Ray E Horton Jim Price Joe Absher

    BY ACCEPTING FEDERAL AID, RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS MAY SUBJECT THEMSELVES TO STATE LAW MANDATES.
    Under some state laws, acceptance of government aid – even federal aid – triggers new legal obligations and restrictions. For example, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) generally prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of religion, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. CADA expressly exempts “any religious organization” from these requirements. But the exemption is lost if the organization “is supported in whole or in part by money raised by taxation or public borrowing.” C.R.S. § 24-34-402(7).

    Even without this exemption, CADA still permits religious organizations to select employees based upon religious preference. But as with Title VII, this may not permit an employer to discriminate based on other protected classes, such as sexual orientation and gender identity.

    Most Colorado churches and ministries aren’t subject to CADA because they’re not supported by government aid. But accepting PPP or EIDL loans could change that and cause an organization to lose at least some of its religious exemption.

    BE CAREFUL
    Many religious organizations find themselves in dire straits as a result of this crisis. And each will have to balance the economic threat to their operations with the legal risks that come with accepting the government’s help. Every church and ministry will have decide for itself how to strike that balance. But each should go into it with eyes wide open, mindful of the potential costs to their mission and values. As always, you should consult with an attorney regarding your specific situation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NhKH91nvJg&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3_Hqh8KmCrHvi8KJBTO8aKaPJ0ifa76Zurzmqi5o5WGPCUjFk2q3jOOIs

  • Ray E Horton
    Reply April 13, 2020

    Ray E Horton

    Probably so!

  • Reply April 13, 2020

    Varnel Watson

  • Jared Cheshire
    Reply April 13, 2020

    Jared Cheshire

    Yes.

  • Robert Cox
    Reply April 14, 2020

    Robert Cox

    I revoked our 501c3 several yrs ago.

  • Reply April 14, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Robert Cox are you cog? how could you do that?

    • Robert Cox
      Reply April 14, 2020

      Robert Cox

      Troy Day

      We were AG, then PCG

      Independent since 2015

    • Reply April 14, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Robert Cox I see – so you revoked your whole employee ID with IRS or just on local state / county level?

    • Robert Cox
      Reply April 14, 2020

      Robert Cox

      Troy Day yes

    • Robert Cox
      Reply April 14, 2020

      Robert Cox

      Both

    • Reply April 14, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Robert Cox So see Doyle Rogers and others from COG or our AG cant just do that because needs to be revoked on the national and international level like HQ denominational which IF did that will stop operating as a whole

    • Robert Cox
      Reply April 14, 2020

      Robert Cox

      Troy Day

      Well, before we “dis-affiliated” from the AG, we were not a 501c3 church. It was only after we got the AG out of it that we did a LLC bc the lawyer suggested it. Lasted about 5 yrs before I got rid of it.

      The church CAN operate under the 501c3 of a denomination, but it doesn’t have to. I didn’t when we were PCG either.

    • Reply April 14, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Robert Cox I will not ask why you “dis-affiliated”

    • Robert Cox
      Reply April 14, 2020

      Robert Cox

      Troy Day

      No problem. I wanted to get married and if had a preconversion divorce. That was a problem with the NTX of the AG at that time. So I quit and had to take the church out of fellowship with them. It cost us 70k to pay the NTX to leave us alone. In a church where the AG didn’t have a dime invested.

    • Daniel J Hesse
      Reply April 14, 2020

      Daniel J Hesse

      Robert Cox God bless you!

    • Reply April 14, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Daniel J Hesse how would AG get tax free ?

    • Daniel J Hesse
      Reply April 14, 2020

      Daniel J Hesse

      Troy Day i can’t speak to this question. God bless you.

  • Steve Losee
    Reply April 14, 2020

    Steve Losee

    YES! Take away that power from an increasingly hostile government

    • Reply April 14, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      but how can they do that – there is no way

    • Steve Losee
      Reply April 15, 2020

      Steve Losee

      by NOT being 501c3. Then they can’t threaten to take it away after we become dependent on it.

  • Jared Cheshire
    Reply April 14, 2020

    Jared Cheshire

    Here is how a ownership of a 501c3 works. First a little context. I used to think a 501c3 was a great thing. I saw it as a protection from government just like a corporation. Corporations predate our government and have always been a way to limit liability and government intrusion into your business. It had aways been presented to me that a 501c3 was similar but added protection from taxation as well. When I decided to start my Security business, I considered also starting a 501c3 as I do a lot of free security for churches and wanted to be able to take donations from those with means to be able to help the small churches without means. What I found out is that while a corporation is an independent entity that the one/ones who starts it controls, a 501c3 is wholy owned by the state, and the one who started it or the board are only the managers. That effectively makes the government the head of your 501c3.

    For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
    Ephesians 5:23 KJV

    But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
    1 Corinthians 11:3 KJV

    But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
    Ephesians 4:15 KJV

    So if Christ is our head, and the head of the church, and we dishonor our head by preaching or praying with our head covered, the we are dishonoring Christ when we cover Him with the government as the head of our church if it is a 501c3. Putting the government in headship is out of God’s order!

  • Reply April 15, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Jared Cheshire you could be 501 without the c3 you know You could be a non -prof just on state level with deed in the county

  • Reply April 20, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    SO Mark Lloyd do you believe churches in US should STOP being 501c3 for reasons you posted in previous comments As govt gives PPP loans churches MUST abide under local legal rulings

    BY ACCEPTING FEDERAL AID, RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS MAY SUBJECT THEMSELVES TO STATE LAW MANDATES.
    Under some state laws, acceptance of government aid – even federal aid – triggers new legal obligations and restrictions. For example, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) generally prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of religion, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. CADA expressly exempts “any religious organization” from these requirements. But the exemption is lost if the organization “is supported in whole or in part by money raised by taxation or public borrowing.” C.R.S. § 24-34-402(7).

    Even without this exemption, CADA still permits religious organizations to select employees based upon religious preference. But as with Title VII, this may not permit an employer to discriminate based on other protected classes, such as sexual orientation and gender identity.

    Most Colorado churches and ministries aren’t subject to CADA because they’re not supported by government aid. But accepting PPP or EIDL loans could change that and cause an organization to lose at least some of its religious exemption.

    BE CAREFUL
    Many religious organizations find themselves in dire straits as a result of this crisis. And each will have to balance the economic threat to their operations with the legal risks that come with accepting the government’s help. Every church and ministry will have decide for itself how to strike that balance. But each should go into it with eyes wide open, mindful of the potential costs to their mission and values. As always, you should consult with an attorney regarding your specific situation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NhKH91nvJg&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3_Hqh8KmCrHvi8KJBTO8aKaPJ0ifa76Zurzmqi5o5WGPCUjFk2q3jOOIs

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