Los Angeles, CA asked in Tax Law for California

Q: Started a new religion; got an EIN. Should I apply for tax exemption in the (no members) beginning or wait?

I'm thinking I should apply for the 501(c) (3) status in the very beginning with no members or place to "worship" because in the beginning the IRS won't see me as anything that could be taking monies they could otherwise be taxing.

For example, if I'm just starting out with, say, one member who's willing to donate a hundred dollars, who cares? However, if I'm more established and looking for tax exemption with say a thousand members all willing to give a hundred dollars, not to mention an owned building to worship in that I'm also looking for tax exemption for, the IRS might think - Wait just a second here, we want some of that pie.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The earlier the better. Then you have time to work out any snags.

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