Most people tend to think of businesses and religious institutions as two very different things. For tax purposes, though, the IRS treats them very similarly. Businesses and religious organizations both have expenses, and they both have income. For religious organizations, the income could take the form of donations or of proceeds from fundraisers. The IRS requires every entity that has income and expenses, including religious organizations, to get an employer ID number (EIN). It has a special entity designation for a church Tax ID number. To get an EIN for a religious organization, fill out form SS4 online, as you would when registering a business. On the question about your entity type, choose “church.”
What Is a Church, According to the IRS?
For tax purposes, the IRS uses the term “church” to refer to any religious organization. It could be a house of worship, such as a church, temple, or mosque. It could also be a group of individual churches, what in religious terms would be considered a denomination. According to the IRS, a church must be part of an organized religion, but that religion does not have to be Christianity.
How Do You Get a Federal Tax ID Number for Your Religious Organization?
The process of applying for a Tax ID number for a church is much like applying for a Tax ID number for a business. You can fill out the application form on the IRS EIN website and receive your EIN very quickly. If you are registering as a church, the IRS might ask for a copy of your mission statement. In other words, it might want you to show proof that your organization is part of an organized religion.
Getting the IRS to recognize your religious organization is as simple as registering a business.