Usually a church or very small organization files to be recognized as tax exempt—even though it doesn’t have to—for the peace of mind such recognition provides their donors. Most donors want to be able to prove, if the IRS examines their return, that their contribution is deductible by showing that the organization to which they contributed is in IRS Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations Described in Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Being able to demonstrate that an organization is a recognized 501(c)(3) may have other benefits, such as qualifying for lower postal rates.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide legal or accounting advice, or to address specific situations. Please consult with your legal or tax advisor to supplement and verify what you learn here.