Tax Exemption and Guidestar

Tax Exemption and Guidestar

Ross Williams


Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors,

I receive many questions about how a church can demonstrate that it is tax-exempt under IRS regulations 501(c)(3).  This proof is needed for a variety of purposes such as when opening new bank accounts or soliciting donations from corporations.

Churches can receive an individualized letter within minutes from the General Council on Finance & Administration (GCFA) by clicking on the link below.  You will need your taxpayer ID number handy before doing so.  This is an automated process that will allow you to save a copy of the letter as well as e-mail it to yourself.

In addition, something new about this process is that there is a question asking whether you want your church to be listed on Guidestar, which is a database of nonprofits that is generally recognized by donors.  Once listed on Guidestar, churches will have a way to demonstrate their 501(c)(3) status electronically.

If you have already gone through the process to obtain a certificate, and you now want to list your church on Guidestar, you must go through the process again, but again, it only takes a couple of minutes.  Make sure you click the box that asks you whether you want your church to be listed on Guidestar!

Sincerely,  Ross