Starting a Congregation
Please be advised that the information in this discourse is provided with the understanding that neither the author nor the Universal Life Church Ministries is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. Neither the author nor the Universal Life Church Ministries assumes liability for information contained herein for the use thereof by readers.
This discourse is a sermon of understanding between ministers, illustrating differing paths for new religious organizations. Readers should seek the professional advice of a professional tax accountant, lawyer, or tax preparer for specific tax questions and filing requirements.
This discourse reflects the knowledge and understandings of the author’s personal experience in recognition of the need for clarification of income tax laws as they relate in sole manner to religion and its practice in the United States of America. To obtain IRS forms, publications, schedules, and tables for filing a return, contact the IRS or a public library.
Every effort has been made to provide timely, accurate and authoritative information, the primary sources being the two Zondervan Tax and Financial Planning Guides for Ministers, Churches, and Non-profits, and the actual forms and booklets provided by the Internal Revenue Service. Understandings are not individual tax answers, but rather general knowledge of the processes and the definitions of terms as they relate to religious organizations.
Organizations differ in purpose and practice as do individuals, so a competent source of information is necessary. Securing the services of a tax advisor or attorney is highly recommended and in most instances is a necessity for the proper establishment of a tax-exempt church or religious ministry.
Many aspects will be repeated and discussed from differing viewpoints. This repetition has been written into the text for a particular purpose. This type of repetition aids the process of education and understanding of the information and lessens the anxiety of dealing with complicated tax matters.