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Nonprofit Law/Nonprofit to a Church nonprofit


If a  nonprofit with a current 501(C)3 that includes as a part of its purpose, "religious" activity but was not originally formed as a church chooses to change to a church, what must it do? We filed for a dba with the ministry name but for taxing purposes and obligations, would it be best for us to start a completely separate EIN and file as a church? The nonprofit received a donation of land and buildings that it specifically wants to use as a church and accessories to the church and we want to know what would be the best option.

If the organization is going to act as a church (with regular meetings of unrelated persons), then it would want to file with the IRS another Application for Exemption, this time completing not only the main application but also Schedule A, which is for churches.  The organization would need to pay the IRS filing fee which would be either $400 or $850. There are benefits in having "church" status as a 501(c)(3) organization with the IRS.  If you want to know of some of those benefits, let me know and I will reply further.

I do not see any reason, from what you wrote, that you would want to form a new organization (getting a new EIN) and then filing as a church. You wrote about "accessories' to the church.  I do not know what you mean by that, but if the organization would be having a substantial amount of activities that are not normal for churches, I suggest that you consult with me about the issue of a new organization (EIN) and about the church's anticipated activities if you still are not sure about those issues after reading this answer. If you want to hire me for such consultations, send me an email directly to my email address below and I will quote you my 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. 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


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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