Our attorneys help nonprofit organizations, including churches and ministries, to obtain federal tax exemption as a section 501(c)(3) public charity through the drafting and submission of IRS Form 1023.
We also aid other tax-exempt organizations, including Section 501(c)(6) trade associations through the submission of IRS Form 1024.
The Church Lawyers prepare state property or appraisal district and sales tax exemption applications for our clients.
We also represent our clients in property tax exemption disputes at the state and local level and have achieved considerable success for our clients who were initially denied tax exemption of their property.
Federal tax law requires section 501(c)(3) organizations formed for a charitable or religious purpose to engage in activities that benefit a broad group rather than benefiting only a few.
Our team works diligently to ensure our clients maintain the knowledge and understanding of these restrictions and how the doctrines of private benefit and inurement impact everyday activities and transactions of the organization.
We help our clients implement appropriate conflict of interest policies to help avoid occurrences of private benefit and inurement.
Federal tax law prohibits section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches, from engaging in political campaign and lobbying activity.
We not only provide legal counsel as to the type of political activities churches are restricted from engaging in, but we also provide clear boundaries as to permissible activities and messaging churches, ministries and other nonprofit organizations may engage in.
The Church Lawyers routinely provide counsel to churches and ministries to help them better understand their responsibility to comply with IRS donation receipt rules to protect donors’ deductibility of charitable contributions.
We also help clients with different types of reporting and handling of various kinds of charitable giving, including non-cash and stock contributions, restricted funds, donor-advised funds, and quid-pro-quo contributions.
As an increasing number of churches, ministries and nonprofit organizations explore options for generating alternative streams of revenue from external sources, apart from traditional tithes or donor contributions, our attorneys are ready to provide legal counsel to what can often be complex scenarios.
As organizations engage in these types of revenue producing activities they will inevitably encounter issues such as unrelated business income where the revenue stream does not directly further the charitable purpose of the organization.
Despite its complexity, The Church Lawyers are adept in the evaluation of unrelated business income and are prepared to advise clients on whether an activity is taxable or if such activities have risen to such a level that could jeopardize the organization’s federal tax exemption.
The housing allowance is an invaluable tax benefit for those ministers who meet the requirements of Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Not only do The Church Lawyers assist churches and their qualifying ministers in applying this tax benefit, but our attorneys are up-to-date on the current legal challenges the housing allowance faces as its constitutionality is threatened through court proceedings.
As churches struggle to ascertain reasonable compensation for employees, The Church Lawyers assist churches by undertaking separate, independent third-party evaluations of executive compensation, utilizing comparability data to ensure that executive compensation is reasonable in accordance with federal tax law and industry standards.
Our attorneys help pastors and churches plan strategically for retirement and evaluate the various types of favorable retirement plans available to pastors through their church employment.
A nonqualified deferred compensation plan, or rabbi trust, can be an effective means to plan for retirement for pastors as it makes it possible for a church to set aside amounts in a trust so long as the arrangement complies with Section 409A of the federal tax code.
The Church Lawyers leverage their knowledge and tax planning abilities to provide legal guidance and preparation of such retirement plans.
Additional IRS | Tax Services
- IRS Form 1023 Tax Exemption Determination
- IRS Form 990 Annual Financial Reporting
- Independent Compensation Committee
- Compensation Studies
- IRS Audits
- Housing Allowance and Parsonage
- Opting In-Out of Social Security
- Self-Employment Taxes
- IRS 26 U.S.C. § “403(b)” Plans
- IRS 26 U.S.C. § “409A” Arrangements
- Rabbi Trusts
- Private Foundations and Excise Taxes
- Charitable Donations
- Nonprofit Political Activity, Lobbying, and Advocacy
- Unrelated Business Income Activities and Taxes
- Intermediate Sanctions
- Excess Benefit Transactions
- Private Benefit
- International Activity
- Planned Giving Issues
- Exempt Securities
- Bonds, Notes, and Alternative Financing Transactions
- Insurance Coverage Considerations and Guidance