IRS Issues New Guide For Religious Organizations

The IRS has issued Publication 1828, "Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations," which describes the favorable tax treatment granted to such organizations. The publication is currently available online and will be available later this summer in a printed form.

The 28-page publication includes information about applying for tax-exempt status, what types of income earned by religious organizations is taxed, what types of activities might jeopardize the tax-exempt status of these organizations, special rules for compensation of ministers, substantiation and disclosure rules for charitable organizations, tax form filing requirements, and the IRS procedures for auditing a religious organization.

The IRS has attempted to produce this information in plain, easy-to-understand English without a lot of technical jargon.

"Churches and religious organizations have a unique status in American society," said Steven T. Miller, director of the IRS's Exempt Organizations division. "Over the years, Congress has enacted special tax laws in recognition of that status. This publication explains these rules in a straightforward way to help these organizations understand and voluntarily comply with the tax laws."