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Stephen L. Bening Financial Ministries

501c3 Exemption Services For Ministry

God Provides The Vision-We Accomplish It With His Talents and Assistance

Application For Exemption Under IRC Section 501c3

Services Provided:


Advice regarding options for structure and operations
Exemption Recognition
Application Process
Pros and Cons
Laws, Fees and Costs
Social Security and Sales Tax Exemption
Compliance and Compensation Reviews

Exemption Recognition:
Step 2 of the process in helping the new ministry is the determination concerning what will be done for the ministry with respect to exempt status.

For churches, I strongly recommend that they do not file for voluntary exemption, since they are excepted from tax already under IRC 501 c 3. In fact, I have talked many pastors out of filing the application for exemption: an act on my part that has prevented me from making money in the preparation of it. Yes, that is correct. A Christian church is already exempt from tax in the United States, and needs to do nothing to secure that exemption.

Most pastors do not know this and most attorneys do not tell them. For years, the IRS implied in their instructions that it was necessary for churches to apply, but that is not correct.

On the other hand, there are those of you who wish to set up to do some type of para-church ministry where you will not be doing all the traditional, sacerdotal functions that are done by the whole church. You may have to, from an operational standpoint, incorporate and apply for 501c3 exemption approval in order to operate and obtain tax exemptions for your donors.

There are other options we can discuss as well. Some today are returning to an operation in a simpler form as "The Church", in a non-incorporated format. Some have very strong feelings about this, and want to avoid any "creature of the state" connection that may arise through incorporating the church. We will discuss these aspects.

It is possible to do this in Florida, for example, by simply filing a fictious name application with the Department of State. The IRS will then usually give a Federal ID number, and the non-incorporated church can then open a bank account, and even lease property. Property can be purchased in a trust, if necessary. I personally know of one church that has accomplished these things.

A few isolated congregations and ministries are even operating as "for profit" corporations, and are paying taxes on their "profits".

Now, for those of you who need that 501 c 3 letter......for whatever the reason:

To obtain your 501c3 Exemption, simply fill out the form below.  Please provide your name and address information, as well as information for board of directors, three of which should be non-related directors.  


























NAME & ADDRESS-Director #1:


NAME & ADDRESS-Director #2:


NAME & ADDRESS-Director #3:


NAME & ADDRESS-Director #4:


NAME & ADDRESS-Director #5: