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The Application Restrictions For all 501(c)(3) Church



First, the application for 501(c)(3) “church” status is in direct conflict with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  The application requires government to unnecessarily entangle itself with churches in matters of religious speech and religious expression.

Second, all 501(c)(3) organizations have to pay either a $400 or $850 fee.  This is in direct conflict with the legal definition of “free” in the First Amendment. It makes no difference if it is a tax or processing fee, money required for consideration of an application for a church is not free.


Third, all 501(c)(3) applications are reviewed and scrutinized by a government employee.  IRS employees are often motivated, or pressured, to deny and restrict conservative non-profit application approval.


Fourth, the criteria for determining if a church qualifies as a 501 (c)(3) is vague and capricious. There is no legal definition for the word “church”. The IRS, however, has developed and publicized their own criteria they consider for evaluating an application for “church” status. In the IRS’s own words, the criteria and requirements vary from application to application. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that government rules and laws are void if they are vague.


Fifth, all 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches who apply for “church” status with the IRS, application, application supplements, contact information, address, and information of all board members is open to public inspection to any person or organization that requests it, including those who are hostile toward religion.



The Speech Restrictions For All 501(c)(3) Churches


All 501(c)(3) organizations, including those formed as churches, have restrictions on free speech.  The application must state the ministry will not be involved in attempting to influence legislation or politics in both the state formation documents and the IRS application Form 1023. What exactly does “attempting” mean?   


If you fail to include the speech restrictions on the state formation documents and IRS Form 1023, your application is denied. Once formed if your ministry has any single violation of attempting to influence legislation or politics, even one that is unintentional, insignificant, or small, it can result in a 501(c)(3) losing tax exempt status and donors tax deductible contributions. 


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