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Nonprofit Law/non profit with dba and IRS


QUESTION: Can you tell me where i can go to read the IRS requirements for filing taxes for our Church 501c3 status with a dba operating under the same status.

ANSWER: It appears that there is a church that has already organized under state law and it has not yet received a determination letter from the IRS that it is exempt from federal income taxes. Also it appears that the church has already made any required state or local registrations that might be required to it to use a dba.

See instructions to Application for Exemption
in the right column on the first page under "Form 1023 not necessary" discusses who does not need to file and among those is are churches.  Therefore as long as the church is properly established for IRS purposes as a church (for example the congregation is not just one family), then donations to the church are deductible.  The church would also need to operate according to IRS requirements for 501(c)(3) organizations as specified throughout Publication 557 "Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization" which is found at:

If the church does want a determination letter, then it would need to file that Form 1023 application for exemption and pay the IRS filing fees.

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 church is already established as a 501c3. The intention is to operate a dba under the same 501c3 status. But it is unclear of how the tax filing for the dba should be filed. Is everything filed under the church?

There is only one entity.  A dba is not a separate entity, so, if the church wants to make or is required to make tax filings, there is only one tax filing -- the church organization.

A church does not have filing requirements for 990/990ez with the IRS annually unless it has unrelated business activities and you will see that written on the church's determination letter from the IRS.

--- Start of Excerpt ---
 The law requires most tax-exempt organizations, other than churches, to file an annual Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF with the IRS, or to submit a Form 990-N e-Postcard to the IRS.
--- End of Excerpt ---

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


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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