Nonprofit Law/508 c1 a


I'm just starting my own church and I was wondering how do you get 508 cla do you apply? If so where should I go?

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:

The church  must have the required clauses in the organizational document  See, starting on page 23 of  Publication 557  under "Organizational Test". Samples start on page 69. Also you must operate as a 501(c)(3) organization (see that publication 557 for the general rules).

The IRS has elaborated on that section 508 in its regulations:
---Start of Excerpt--
Therefore, where churches are involved, although an organization must satisfy the requirements for exemption under IRC 501(c)(3), it need not either notify the Service that it claims exemption or be
the subject of a Service determination that it is exempt. Reg. 1.508-1(a)(4) clearly provides that a church that does not apply for exemption by filing Form 1023 nevertheless may be exempt under
IRC 501(c)(3) if it meets the requirements of that section. Consequently, a church (or other organization described in IRC 508(c) that has been revoked), may claim to be exempt for future
years without going through the process of applying for recognition of exemption under IRC 501(c)(3), nor does it need a Service determination that it is exempt under that subsection. As stated on page 5 of IRS publication 1828 "Churches that meet the requirements of IRC section 501(c)(3) are automatically considered tax exempt."
---End of Excerpt-- on page 4

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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