Group Exemption Status
1. Local Churches
A local church charter protects the church by helping to eliminate interference and conflicts that may arise from the community, the state, and the IRS.
2. Evangelistic Associations
This charter is granted, but not limited to traveling ministries such as evangelists, preachers, Bible teachers and music ministries. Having an evangelistic charter allows a ministry to receive donations while on the road or traveling anywhere internationally. If tapes, books, or other items are to be sold or given away, this information must be stated in the charter application.
This charter is granted to ministers who teach or preach abroad as well as the United States of America. Having a charter for missionary work allows the minister to receive donations.
4. Local Missions
A local mission is similar to a local church but different in purpose. A local mission must have regular services and may begin in a home or building but ministers primarily to the poor, orphans, homeless, abused women and children, etc. Because a local mission is a nonprofit tax-exempt organization, it is allowed to charge a reasonable fee for its services, yet it cannot enforce any payment on a person who is unable to pay. When a person is forced to pay for a service rendered by a local mission, that mission is in danger of losing its charter if such an act is reported to the IRS.
5. Christian Schools & Bible Colleges
Churches and ministries who wish to have an opportunity to begin their own academy, Bible college, or seminary can now receive an educational charter. Any institution that applies for a charter must not be racially discriminatory and must clearly outline its purpose, curriculum, etc. This category must be within the covering of your church.
6. Christian Counseling Centers
With marital and family problems continuing to escalate in the nation and within the church, more and more ministries are specializing in counseling. This charter is becoming the most in demand. To obtain a charter as a Christian counseling center, you must be part of an established church or operate independently from an outside office. Without question, it is necessary to charter a Christian counseling center. Some state officials have attempted to interfere with such centers because of their competition with local licensed professionals in the fields of psychology and counseling.
A Christian counseling center is considered by the IRS to be a religious and charitable organization. Therefore, a counseling center may charge a reasonable fee for services rendered. Some centers prefer to use a sliding scale fee system. However, the Christian counseling center, like other nonprofit organizations, is not legally permitted to enforce payment or sue clients when they cannot pay. Any such enforcement by a Christian counseling center to force a client to pay may result in the loss of its charter if the IRS learns of such an act.
Note: Counselors must have a license and degree as required by their state and carry counseling liability insurance. All churches that are chartered by ICCM are required to adhere to the association’s Articles of Faith & Doctrine.
CHARTER APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
REQUIRED INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTS
□ Application fees and any additional fees to create Organizational documents (if applicable)
□ Mission Statement
□ Articles of Incorporation
□ Principal Officer/President must be licensed or ordained by ICCM and in good standing.
□ Board of Directors (“Board”):
- The minimum number of Directors required to comprise the initial Board is FIVE
- An address and original signature is required for all FIVE Directors of the initial Board
- Only TWO of the Directors can be related by blood or marriage
- The Principal Officer/President and the Treasurer cannot be related by blood or marriage
We understand that our exempt status shall remain in effect only as long as the Entity and the Principal Officer/President remain in good standing and meet all requirements, and that the exempt status can be revoked without notice upon failure to meet the agreed requirements.
We understand and agree that our acceptance as an Affiliate under ICCM or under World Church does NOT provide exemption from state taxation in the state wherein the Entity is domiciled; but upon approval of the Entity as an Affiliate, we may independently apply for exemption from state tax through the office of our Secretary of State.
TENETS OF FAITH
We request acceptance from ICCM or World Church, as outlined in this Charter Application & Agreement, and agree to abide by the existing 22 Fundamental Truths and Constitutional Bylaws governing all members of ICCM. We further understand and agree that ICCM or World Church reserves the right to make changes or alterations to same at any time it may deem appropriate.
ACCOUNTING & REPORTING
We agree to return a completed and notarized copy of our Annual Year End Financial Report (the form of which is mailed to us by ICCM or World Church in January) on or before March 15th annually. We understand that the annual accounting/reporting period for the Entity ends on December 31st each calendar year. If the Entity is in good standing and has met all requirements, an annual renewal fee of $250 will be assessed to renew the Affiliate standing with ICCM or World Church.
We understand and agree that the Entity, upon approval as an Affiliate under ICCM’s 501(c)(3) Group Exemption or World Church’s 501(c)(3) Group Exemption shall, at all times, remain a sovereign entity, complying with all applicable city, local, state, and/or federal regulations. We understand that this includes, but may not be limited to, those ordinances required by any other governing agency having jurisdictional authority in the state or municipality where the Entity is domiciled, and that compliance with all ordinances, laws, requirements, and controls shall, at all times, be the responsibility of the Entity.
We agree that the Entity herein indemnifies and holds harmless ICCM and World Church, their officers, representatives, employees, staff, and assigns from any and all damages, suits, liabilities, or actions, intentional or otherwise, that may arise as a direct or indirect result of the Entity’s activities or accidents, of whatever kind or nature, regardless of the proximity to, or relationship with, the Entity.
We the undersigned officers, representing the Entity, agree to all provisions specified herein, and acknowledge that any violation of this Agreement shall result in the immediate dissolution of the Affiliate charter granted by ICCM or World Church, and to this we affix our signatures, attesting to same.
By requesting application, we herein certify that, to the best of our knowledge, the mission, purposes, and activities of the Entity are of a religious and/or charitable nature and the Entity is not a private foundation. We hereby declare that each of the statements given or made in this application and supporting documents are correct and true; we solemnly pledge to abide by all promises and statements contained therein.
Note: Having a charter with ICCM does not mean that the association claims right to ownership of the property of a chartered church or ministry. Our charters remain totally independent. The object and purpose of all subordinate churches or ministries shall be “to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ as set forth in the Old and New Testament Scriptures, to practice and promote the Christian religion according to the Gospel of the New Testament Scriptures, and to convert persons to the Christian Religion,” as stated in the Articles of Incorporation of ICCM. Our affiliated churches and ministries must take care not to use their subordinate status for unrelated business or engage their ministry in activities that are not in accordance with their exempt status. Neither can they, as a chartered church-related organization, become involved in activities to influence legislation.
How Long Does It Take To Get Tax-Exempt Status?
The president/principal office must be licensed or ordained by ICCM to be considered for a charter under ICCM. This policy is primarily for accountability and liability purposes, thereby providing benefits for the credentialed minister as well. Upon meeting all the requirements of the Charter Application & Agreement, you will receive the Charter Certificate and the IRS Group Exemption Letter within 30 days from the time your application is approved by the ICCM Board of Governors.