508c1a vs 501c3

[ We are NOT lawyers, nor or are we attempting to give legal advice. All information on this page and links (unless otherwise stated on the linked organizations pages) is intended for educational and informational purposes ONLY. Before acting on information provided here and on the linked organizations pages, we recommend getting legal advice from a Christian attorney, such as Biblical Law Center, Christian Law Association or Alliance Defending Freedom]

You do not need to be a registered 501(c)3 corporation to achieve tax-exempt status if you are a church. By incorporating, you are a subject and creation of the state, not of God. Which, in many cases, means you must do as the state says. Are you in ministry to preach Gods Word, or to twist Gods Word to fit the state?

1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

If any links are broken, please let us know.

(Titles of links are beneath the quoted tax code, next to the corresponding number)
Info about 501(c)3 State Church vs. 508(c)1 Free Church Click Here (1), To learn how to de-corporatize your church/ministry or help your pastor free the church/ministry from government bondage Click Here (2). For more information on 508c1a click here (3), here (4), and here (5). For IRS publications click here (6). There is some information here (7), here (8) and here too (9).
Click here for a must read if you are a pastor of a church (10). Another statement is Here (11).

Additional information with quoted IRS tax code not stated below, from a church based in Florida, may be found here (12).

Below is excerpts from 508 and 503 that pertain to churches, ministries, and religious organizations. The title of each excerpt is linked to the complete publications.

IRS Title 26 › Subtitle A › Chapter 1 › Subchapter F › Part II › § 508

(a) New organizations must notify Secretary that they are applying for recognition of section 501(c)(3) status
Except as provided in subsection (c), an organization organized after October 9, 1969, shall not be treated as an organization described in section 501 (c)(3) —
(1) unless it has given notice to the Secretary in such manner as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe, that it is applying for recognition of such status, or
(2) for any period before the giving of such notice, if such notice is given after the time prescribed by the Secretary by regulations for giving notice under this subsection.

(b) Presumption that organizations are private foundations
Except as provided in subsection (c), any organization (including an organization in existence on October 9, 1969) which is described in section 501(c)(3) and which does not notify the Secretary, at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe, that it is not a private foundation shall be presumed to be a private foundation.

(c) Exceptions
(1) Mandatory exceptions Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to
(A)churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches

IRS Publication 557
Some organizations are not required to file Form 1023 or 1023-EZ. These include:
Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions or associations of churches, or integrated auxiliaries of a church, such as a men’s or women’s organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group.
Any organization (other than a private foundation) normally having annual gross receipts of not more than $5,000
These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3).

Religious Organizations

To determine whether an organization meets the religious purposes test of section 501(c)(3), the IRS maintains two basic guidelines.

That the particular religious beliefs of the organization are truly and sincerely held.

That the practices and rituals associated with the organization’s religious belief or creed are not illegal or contrary to clearly defined public policy.

Therefore, your group (or organization) may not qualify for treatment as an exempt religious organization for tax purposes if its actions, as contrasted with its beliefs, are contrary to well established and clearly defined public policy. If there is a clear showing that the beliefs (or doctrines) are sincerely held by those professing them, the IRS will not question the religious nature of those beliefs.

IRS Publication 526

Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions
You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. Most organizations, other than churches and governments, must apply to the IRS to become a qualified organization.

Types of Qualified Organizations

Examples. The following list gives some examples of qualified organizations.
Churches, a convention or association of churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other religious organizations.

TITLE 26 > Subtitle A > CHAPTER 1 > Subchapter F > PART I > Sec 501.
Sec. 501. — Exemption from tax on corporations, certain trusts, etc.
(a) Exemption from taxation
An organization described in subsection (c) or (d) or section 401(a) shall be exempt from taxation under this subtitle unless such exemption is denied under section 502 or 503.

(c) List of exempt organizations
The following organizations are referred to in subsection (a):
(3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.


Link Titles
If any links are broken, please let us know. We already had to replace a link for an article that moved its location within the author organizations website, which caused the original link to redirect to their homepage instead of the article.

(1) 508c1a Free Church vs 501c3 State Church via New Vision Ministries Online

(2) Biblical Law Center

(3) 508 info from Cornell Law

(4)Reasons To Unincorporate Your Church via Paul J Hansen

(5) What Is A 508c1a via Helping Hand Outreach

(6) State Law via Helping Hand Outreach

(7) What Is A 501c3 via Admin Assist

(8) 501 Church via Ecclesia.org

(9) Unincorporated Associations Are Not Unregistered New Testament Churches via Freedoms Phoenix

(10) Unincorporated via Everett Ramsey, D.D.

(11) Revelation About Church Incorporation via American Pastors Network

(12) Unincorporated Status via TheChurchOfAmerica.net


If you are an established church/ministry that has completed the decorporation process OR are forming a new church, you may ask us to aid you with what to do as a Free Church to setup. Our method is only one option, and possibly the easiest. But there are other options. Upon contacting us or another ministry, pastor, etc for guidance, we recommend setting up a new constitution and bylaws to protect your church/ministry.

You may contact us for assistance/guidance or questions at SpiritualMessiahMinistries@gmail.com or RevDrRedMinistries@gmail.com Put ‘Free Church‘ or ‘508c1a‘ in the subject line. We don’t charge for general information pertaining to the content of this page, however donations are greatly appreciated. For our assistance:

  • Basic Setup Info and any questions pertaining to it – $50 Donation
  • Assistance in drafting Constitution & ByLaws – $100 Donation
  • Any additional assistance (locating any local requirements that may apply, church/ministry name search, setting up websites, etc) – $75 Donation each
    • You are responsible for domain name, domain mapping, etc fees. We will attach the domain to your site for you within the confines of your domain registration. The most popular option is $300/yr (covers hosting, domain & domain mapping, fully featured website, no third-party ads). We will discuss the various hosting options and registrar’s. Once you’re hosting plan is active, we will begin constructing your website.
    • Additional donation of $25 each for website terms and privacy policy to be drafted by us.
    • Once the site is complete, it will be transfered to your sole ownership. We will help set it up, but it’s up to you to maintain it. If you’d like us to maintain it, there will be an additional monthly donation required. The donation amount will be determined by how much maintenance and updates is required each month.
  • Donations must be recieved before the services are rendered. Any correspondence will go unanswered until donation is received.

Remember, we are NOT lawyers, nor or are we attempting to give legal advice. All information we provide to you is based on our experience and is intended for educational and informational purposes ONLY. You are to discuss with your team the various options and choose that which best suits your needs. We are NOT responsible for any event, good or bad, that may occur from your taking our advice or using our services. In taking our advice, you acknowledge that there may be uphill battles, legal or otherwise; when and if such arises you agree we are not responsible.

Before implementing our advice, or that of any other ministry, pastor, etc, it is recommended you unincorporate your church/ministry. Christian lawyers are available to help through the process, such as Biblical Law Center, Christian Law Association or Alliance Defending Freedom

Before structuring as a 508c1a, you MUST fully understand the current IRS tax code, local, state, and federal law, and all implications or issues that you may have to face over time.
You won’t be alone, as many churches and ministries faced these same issues and may give advice to you when they arise, but you must understand they may arise and be willing to deal with each issue appropriately and legally as they come.

All churches and ministries that are formed under and through Spiritual Messiah Ministries and those that leave their denomination and join Spiritual Messiah Ministries / Rev. Dr. Red Ministries will be setup as 508c1a Free Churches, with full support of Rev. Dr. Red and all Elders.

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