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Nonprofit Law/Setting up property under church ministry.

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Question
Hello. Long story here. After years of ministry my wife and I decided to start our own church in Louisiana. We setup the incorporation through the SOS, obtained an EIN and began meeting. Now three years later we bought property that was formerly a church and house (parsonage). In order for the bank to do the deal they would not include the church building due to business loan requirements which we did not yet meet. We mortgaged the house and some lots and the original owner donated the church building. We just discovered we will owe taxes because the church was donated in our personal name. This was done to keep any group form seizing control and ousting us out of our own ministry. We want to donate the building to the church but with the assurance that we won't ever be forced out. How can we do this, should we setup another ministry to umbrella the church under and donate it to the ministry? I want all of this to be legal and proper. Any ideas?

Answer
I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions about IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. Your questions are not about federal exemption but about property ownership issues and personal control, which are issues controlled by state law.  I am not a member of the Louisiana bar but I will give you some leads. You would need to look at the state law to confirm that you can do what can be done in other states which is that a family can control a church corporation and then you would amend your articles of incorporation and bylaws.  If you want to hire me for more detailed consultations, send me an email directly to my email address below and I will quote you my fees.

Harvey Mechanic
Attorney at Law
Harvey108@hotmail.com

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. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather more information.

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Harvey Mechanic

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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 Harvey108@hotmail.com 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 "site:allexperts.com/q/nonprofit" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials

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

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


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