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January 22, 2013

Q&A: Is Form 990 Required for Churches?

Several organizations are exempt from this reporting requirement

Q: Does a small church need to file a 990N? I have not been able to determine if this is now required. In the past, we have not filed 990's as we are a small congregation.

A: Section 6033 exempts several organizations from the Form 990 reporting requirements, including the following:

A church, an interchurch organization of local units of a church, a convention or association of churches, an integrated auxiliary of a church (such as a men's or women's organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group), and certain church-controlled organizations (see Revenue Procedure 86-23). The term "integrated auxiliary" is defined fully in Chapter 12, section A.4, in my annual tax guide, the 2013 Church & Clergy Tax Guide.

Learn more about church reporting requirements with the 2013 Church & Clergy Tax Guide and Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches 2013 Tax Resources Audio CD.

Related Tags: bookkeepers, church tax, Richard Hammar, taxes, treasurers


Mr. Hammar is, of course, correct. However if the IRS notifies a church that it is delinquent in filing, it is incumbent upon the church to contact the IRS and straighten out the problem. If it does not do so, the IRS is likely to add the church to the list of organizations whose exempt status has been automatically revoked.

How often are the Forms 990's supposed to be filed by churches?

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