First, Penny Loafer is incomplete. For a deduction of any amount, the taxpayer must have proof of donation; letterhead is acceptable, but so are photocopies of cancelled checks. Even hand written notes have, on occasion, been accepted as evidence by the Tax Court.
Second, Texan from Georgia is just flat out wrong. No church signs â€śon the dotted lineâ€ť; 501(c)(3) status is automatically granted when a church forms. As far as the IRS is concerned there is nothing to sign; if however, the church incorporates at the state level thatâ€™s a different matter. Incorporation is available if the church officers want to protect themselves from lawsuit.
Concerning JoBobâ€™s comments, if a church doesnâ€™t want 501(c)(3) status, then the Godly church leaders and congregation are free to elect taxable status. Keep in mind the reason Congress created IRC Section 501 is to, in part, allow churches to get out of paying corporate income taxes on contributions given to the church.
I have one question, where in Scripture does God command the Christian church not to pay taxes. Remember, tax exempt status on Christian churches is a man made concept started by the emperor Constantine.
Bill Gothard used to say that people who are lonely don't know how to enjoy their own company. He also said people are lonely because other people are not meeting their needs. Either way, per Bill, he's right, we're wrong.