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Nonprofit Law/Non Disclosure of PC Public Info 2


QUESTION: I've have been trying to obtain public information on Saint Matthew's Churches of Tulsa, OK. Four weeks ago I emailed the lawyer for Saint Matthew's Churches for the: 1)physical address of the church, 2)time and place of the worship service, 3)the phone number of the church, and 4)the name and phone number of a pastor, priest, or board member. I have not received a response from their lawyer. I know he's getting my emails, because he responded to my email request to give a senior a tax receipt for 2012 by sending the senior a letter with a tax receipt. Saint Matthew's Churches of Tulsa, OK has an IRS EIN # as a PC. My question is why the lawyer won't send the public information to me, as there is no other way to obtain the information about Saint Matthew's Churches except through their lawyer.  Thanks, Ken Bern

ANSWER: If a nonprofit has received IRS exemption determination or files
annual returns (Form 990) with the IRS it has an obligation to
provide anyone with certain copies. See FAQs About the Exempt
Organization Public Disclosure Requirements

Churches are not required to file form 990.  Also they are not required to file for an exemption determination letter, but, if they did, then they are required to provide a copy of that 1023 application with attachments which includes articles of incorporation and bylaws as they existed at the time the exemption application was filed with the IRS.

I did a search on the IRS site at

and clicked OK
for state and did get:
73-1020156   Saint Matthews Churches   Tulsa    OK   United States    PC

Therefore, they are required to provide you with a copy of their 1023 application with attachments. The regulations state you should write to the organization, not their attorney and, if they do not comply, you may complaint to the IRS is the IRS list of the
States and there  are the searchable, state-by-state files of
exempt organizations from the IRS.  There you would download the
Excel or text file that includes organizations in OK and when you open the .xls file and search, for example, by EIN which is 731020156, we find their address is
515 S Main St          
Tulsa, OK 74103-4465

which is where you would write with your request, but they are not obligated to give you anything other than what was in their application for exemption (which was back in the year 2000 - as shown in column L of that .xls file).

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.    

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The address for Saint Matthew's Churches of Tulsa, OK that you so expertly found for me is the address for The Joyce Law Firm of Tulsa, OK.  Any thoughts?  I have an actual letter from John C. Joyce of The Joyce Law Firm, lawyer for Saint Matthew's Churches, where he states "Saint Matthew's Churches is a church".  Shouldn't the physical address of the church be the one that is used to file for an IRS EIN and IRS exemption organization status?   Thanks, Ken Bern

The IRS has a mailing address in their database, not the physical address (if it is different). I do not see any reason why a church could not have a mailing address at their attorney's office, although it is not usually done that way and, in fact, it is rare.  

The Form 1023 would give you the physical address (at least at the time it was filed) because Schedule A (for churches) asks about the place of worship.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

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Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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