About 501(c)3

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Thank you for contacting the Nonprofit & Tax Exempt Division regarding your 501(c)(3) tax exemption. Our board of directors oversee three parent group organizations and have many years of experience. They have been faithfully taking the gospel message to many nations since 1976. During this time, our charter division has helped numerous various types of ministries in the US obtain their (1) State Nonprofit Incorporation, and (2) Federal Tax 501(c)(3) Exemption under our group status. These non-profit religious organizations continue to serve the Lord daily and meet many need


Take advantage of our years of experience and in assisting churches and ministries obtain their 501(c)(3) under our group status. We go to the limit to help you “get started right” in establishing a solid ministry.





Most beginning religious organizations concerned with legal and tax issues consult a local attorney and/or CPA, but often find these professionals lacking adequate knowledge of IRS non-profit regulations. Religious organizations everywhere now  realize that chartering a religious organization is a specialized field.


One of PCAI’s most significant functions is helping  members to PROPERLY CHARTER their religious organization. This is done by requesting subordinate status under the PCAI  making available our 501(c)3 group exempt status for religious organizations. A tremendous benefit! PCAI was founded in 1976 and is fully recognized by the IRS.


Charter specialists at our office will review your corporation or organizational papers and furnish information to help you qualify for non-profit, tax exempt status. If you have  not started the process, we do it all for you! We prepare your state non-profit incorporation, set up your governing bylaws and obtain your EIN number from the IRS. What we can do for you in thirty days could easily take you one to three years if you act alone!


We urge you to have your religious organization properly evaluated, chartered and recognized by the IRS before you ask for donations. Please do not risk jeopardizing your religious organization and reputation in the community.


May God bless you as you walk in His will.




1) Q: What is a Charter? Ans: A charter is an official certificate issued to a religious organization upon approval. This document, suitable for framing. Such approval affords a religious organization legal standing with the community, the state, and the Internal Revenue Service; and is a necessary pre-requisite when applying for grants. This legal charter guarantees the recipient that his or her religious organization meets IRS criteria, and is under general (not specific) supervision.


(2) Q: Is it really necessary to have a charter? Ans: Any religious organization, evangelistic ministry, mission, etc. soliciting donations is a prime target for trouble if audited by the IRS. A non-exempt religious organization may be deemed liable and fined as an ordinary business for back taxes. Sadly, its contributors would also be charged for back taxes because of the organization’s failure to obtain a charter recognized by the IRS. NOTE: Churches are automatically considered a 501(c)(3) and they are not required to file for exempt status;  HOWEVER, the church may choose to do so in order to receive specific benefits; i.e., public recognition of tax-exempt status, advance assurance to donors of deductibility of contributions, exemption from certain state taxes, exemption from certain Federal excise taxes, nonprofit mailing privileges, & the ability to apply for grants, etc. NON-CHURCH (religious organizations/charitible/educational) organizations ARE REQUIRED to file for 501(c)(3) status in order to be tax-exempt. They must either file the Form 1023 with the IRS or come under "group status" such as PCAI.


(3) Q: Do I have to file anything with the IRS? Ans: Yes, All non-church religious/charitable organizations are required to file a Form 990 regardless of annual gross income. Different 990 Forms apply according to your income. We will inform you or you may consult a CPA as to what Form 990 you are required to file. NOTE: PCAI does not file a group return, therefore, each subordinate is required to file their own 990 form.


(4) Q: Is there a cost for a charter?  Ans: Yes. There is a one-time set up charge of $400, and thereafter a required low monthly charter fee that starts at $35/mo. The charter is automatically renewed on March 28th of each year as long as the religious organizations remains in good standing. (Additional Cost if needed: prepare bylaws ($50) and prepare state non-profit incorporation ($250) in compliance with IRS codes). We also, at no charge, get your EIN (Employment Identification Number) from the IRS and check on any other state filings that are required.

WHY? Some asked why they must give monthly to PCAI when covered under our group exemption. We have a full-time qualified staff that serve you and your ministry comparable to that of a large church staff.  There a many things we must do on a daily basis to stay in compliance with the IRS in order for the subordinate to keep and maintain their status. Most of all we are here to pray and give support to you to carry on the work God has called you to do. As you know, operating a ministry or church requires finances. We feel we are very reasonable on what is required and strive to be good stewards of what God has instrusted to us. Our monthly requirements are on a sliding scale for our subordinates as to be fair to all no matter the size of the ministry. BE CAREFUL of organization that extend their group exemption with little requirements.


(5) Q: How do we obtain a charter? Ans: We’ve made it easy. Just fill out the forms in this packet. Complete and mail them to us as soon as possible. This should take only a few hours of your time. When your completed forms arrive we will begin work on them (usually the same day). After your paperwork has been  processed, it is  evaluated by our Charter Board. Once approved, your ministry charter is sent to you immediately. The IRS is informed upon your approval as a subordinate under our group exemption.


(6) Q: How long does it take to get a charter? Ans: Assuming your paperwork is complete and in order, it takes approximately thirty days from the date your charter application is received. (Note: No charter application can be processed until your Application for Membership has FIRST been approved).


(7) Q: Am I required to file reports with PCAI? Ans: Yes. There is a financial summary report, report of activities as well as any changes in your purpose or board of directors. This report is due and sent to our office by March 28th. Primarily for your benefit, this ensures you are in compliance with IRS 501 (c) 3 rulings. However, PCAI does not manage your funds or tell you how to operate you organization. Each organization is autonomous and sovereign.  PCAI does not claim right to ownership of the property of the organization.


(8) Q: Must I become a member of PCAI to receive a charter? Ans: Yes. If you are the president of the religious organization, you are required to hold membership (credentials) with PCAI or AEGA (which one that is applicable). Primarily for accountability, general oversight & liability purposes, this policy provides benefits for the member as well. We do not require you give up any membership you may hold with another organization.


(9) Q: Is your office available if I have IRS or accounting questions? Ans: Yes. We are always available to assist you. And more importantly, we lift up you and your religious organization in prayer. Another great benefit of being part of an International Fellowship … you are not alone.




Charitable Faith-based & Religious Organizations; Increasingly more in demand. Any type of religious organization such as but not limited to: women shelters, men, women or youth outreach ministries, adoption agencies, feeding the poor, relief  or disaster type ministries, etc.


Local Mission: The local mission is similar to the local church, but differs in purpose. Like a church, a local mission must have regular services, may begin in a home or building, but ministers primarily to the poor, orphans, street people, abused women and children, outcasts, etc. A mission may offer rooms for rent,  distribute food and clothing, and offer educational or Bible studies, etc. Because a local mission is a non-profit tax exempt organization, it may charge a reasonable fee for its services; however, it cannot require payment from a person unable to pay. Doing so places the mission in danger of losing its exemption should such an act be reported to the IRS.


Evangelistic: This charter is granted to religious organizations such as evangelists, preachers, Bible teachers and music ministries. Holding an evangelistic charter allows your religious organization to receive donations while traveling anywhere in the USA. If tapes, books or other items are to be sold or given away, this information must be stated in the charter application.


Educational (ie. Church School, Academy, Bible College, Seminary): This Charter is unique, and is not offered by most Associations to its members. Many churches, individual ministers, Bible teachers, and others have long awaited an opportunity to begin an academy, Bible college, or seminary. This educational charter now makes it possible. The institution  must not be racially discriminatory, and must clearly outline its purpose, curriculum, etc.


Christian Counseling Center: Because of the many marital and family issues which plague our society — not only in the church, but throughout the nation, more ministries are specializing in counseling. A Christian counseling center may be part of an established church, or operated independently.  Due to the inherent liability associated with this type of ministry, it is vital to charter a Christian Counseling Center. Some states have attempted to interfere with such centers because of their competition with licensed professionals in the fields of psychology and counseling. The Christian Counseling Center is considered a religious and charitable organization by the IRS; and therefore may charge a reasonable fee for services rendered. Some centers use the sliding scale fee system. However the counseling center, like other non-profit organizations, cannot require payment from a client who declares that he/she cannot pay. To do so endangers the center of losing its exemption should the IRS learn of such an act. If required, Counselors must have a degree and be licensed by the state in which they operate. They may also be required to carry liability insurance.


NOTE: This department of PCAI does not render any legal or tax, advice. Nor does the Division of Corporations of your state claim to render any legal, tax, or accounting advice. As in all such matters, you should acquire appropriate counsel from those who are in that particular field. As the charter department of PCAI, we are authorized by the Internal Revenue Service to examine your organizational documents and operations to make a determination as to whether or not your organization qualifies as a nonprofit organization under specific sections of the IRS code. Prices required to charter a church or ministry is subject to change without notice.



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