Sales/Franchise Tax Exemption

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Getting sales tax exemption is great stewardship!

Did you know that more than 25 states allow churches and ministries to apply for sales and use tax exemption?

Obtaining the sales tax exemption is like getting an increase in your church's budget. When you are exempt, the percentage of tax that you normally pay (without exemption) now stays in your church's checkbook. When you compare our small fee for completing the application to the amount of money your church will save year after year, you will be pleased with the value of our services. You will wonder why you did not do this sooner!

In most cases, we can prepare an application for you and have it ready for state approval in 14 days. The state will then go over the application and will either have additional inquiries that need to be answered or they will grant the sales tax exemption. In either case, we work with the application until your church or ministry is granted a certificate of exemption.

Many ministries confuse sales tax exemption with 501(c)(3) status

Many churches and ministries are under the impression that because they have a tax-ID number and 501(c)(3) status, they are also exempt from sales and use tax. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In most states, you have to formally apply for this exemption using the state's application. We understand that the process of getting sales and use tax exemption is cumbersome, and that is why we are here to help. Our goal is to help you achieve maximum stewardship over the finances that God has placed into your hands.

What about franchise tax exemption? (California)

Did you know that the state of California does not allow churches to apply for sales and use tax exemption? Plus, they require all churches and ministries to pay an annual franchise tax of at least $800.00 per year. The good news is that churches and ministries can apply to become exempt from the franchise tax. To do so, the church or ministry must formally apply to the Franchise Tax Board. Without official approval, the church or ministry will have to pay the annual tax or else it will be declared administratively dissolved by the state.

How we can help you

As part of the StartRIGHT Service, obtaining sales and/or franchise tax exemption is easy. You simply supply us with the information, and we fill in the documents. By following the program, churches and ministries can enjoy the benefits of saving money. You will not have to wonder if you are doing things correctly.

How has the housing allowance changed in recent years?

Congress passed the Clergy Housing Allowance Clarification Act, which requires ministers to calculate their housing allowance using two different scenarios in order to make an accurate calculation. Though it has been around for several years, most ministers are unaware that they have been calculating their housing allowance incorrectly. This can result in severe IRS penalties, plus interest and back taxes. It is important to clearly understand how the Clergy Housing Allowance Clarification Act requires a minister to calculate the housing allowance.

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