What is the Definition of a Church?

Everyone knows a church when they see one. But what is the IRS definition of a church-controlled organization? What exactly constitutes a church for the purposes of tax code? For the IRS, a church is a place of worship for any religion. That means that it doesn’t just have to be a “church”: it can be a temple, mosque, or synagogue. A church can qualify for certain tax benefits as a non-profit organization.

This introduces another question: What constitutes a religion? A religious group is any group that does come together for worship, which means that it can be a gray area. The IRS would need to take a look at a church for a less known religion in order to determine whether it qualified as a house of worship. There’s no black-and-white qualifications, rather a set of standards. This includes that the organization is not operating for profit, that its sole mission is for worship and other community connection, and that it is not political in nature. Because a Church is considered a Non-Profit Organization, every Church Organization needs a Tax ID EIN Number. All types of Church Tax ID Numbers can be obtained online in about an hour.

Written by Maurice Mallory