For tax purposes, a “church” refers to any organization claiming to be a church or association of churches, including mosques, temples, and other houses of worship. This broad definition also includes church-controlled institutions such as charities, parochial schools and even hospitals.
Like most non-profits, churches and church-controlled organizations are exempt from federal income tax under U.S. Internal Revenue Code – Section 501(c)(3). This special designation allows churches to receive tax-deductible contributions from congregants and other donors.
To qualify for this tax-exempt status, however, your church or church-controlled organization must satisfy the following requirements:
- It must operate exclusively for charitable, scientific, educational or religious purposes.
- It cannot participate in political campaigns that directly influence legislation.
- Its net income cannot directly benefit any private stakeholders or individuals.
Why Your Church-Controlled Organization Needs a Tax ID Number
Any church or church-controlled organization that meets the above requirements automatically qualifies for tax-exempt status with the IRS. However, your organization must still apply for a Tax ID. Also known as an Employer Identification Number, this ID is what both federal and state agencies use to track (and verify) your tax-exempt status annually.
Having a Tax ID number for your church also allows it to perform a host of essential functions outside of the government sphere. For example:
- Most banks will require an Employer Identification Number before allowing your church or church-controlled organization to open an account.
- When hiring employees for your church or organization, you’ll need a Tax ID to set up salaries, benefits and health insurance.
In addition, having a Tax ID number can help make your church seem more legitimate in the eyes of congregants, donors and employees.
How to Apply for a Church EIN Number
The application process for an Employer Identification Number is the same for all legal entities — whether you are a for-profit business or nonprofit organization. You must complete a long and complex form provided by the IRS, with even the slightest mistake often resulting in your application being rejected.
At GovDocFiling, our goal is to help you avoid these headaches so you can focus all of your time on more important activities — such as serving the community. This is why we offer an intuitive one-page EIN application. It contains all the required fields of an IRS form, but every question is written in simple English to reduce confusion and minimize errors.
Better still, it takes only a few minutes to complete this Tax ID application.
Once you’ve filled out your church EIN form:
- Our in-house tax experts carefully review your paperwork to ensure there are no errors or missing fields that might delay the approval process.
- We forward your paperwork to the IRS (you can easily track the status of your Tax ID application using our free online portal).
- We guarantee “same-day” delivery for all EIN applications, with most church-controlled organization applicants receiving their Tax IDs in just a few hours. Although some filing services charge $300 or more for rush delivery, our expedited service doesn’t cost extra.
Most important, our tax experts and support teams are available — both by email and by phone.
Apply for Your Church Tax ID Number Today
If you’re ready to request a Tax ID number for your church or church-controlled organization, complete the one-page application form below.