So…the official word from the IRS is this:
Churches (including integrated auxiliaries and conventions or associations of churches) that meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are automatically considered tax exempt and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of exempt status from the IRS.IRS Website
You would think that this would be enough to prove to a vendor or a local government that your church is a legitimate 501(c)(3) charity. Often a church needs some outside authority to “vouch” for them. In older denominations, the IRS approved Group Rulings so that any church that is, for example, part of the ELCA denomination can get a letter from their denomination that recognizes the church falls under that Group Ruling.
What about for newer denominations like the Global Methodist Church? I created a form to do something similar. In applying to join the Global Methodist denomination, we verify that a church is a legitimate church. If you are on the list of approved churches, and you have a valid EIN, just complete this form: https://forms.gle/fMpdxXkp1QViSwiy8
Once you complete the form, the following Friday you will get an email with an official letter attached to help prove your church’s 501(c)(3) status.
- Request Tax Exempt Letter: https://forms.gle/fMpdxXkp1QViSwiy8
- FAQ from the Global Methodist site: https://globalmethodist.org/faqs/#1661436444042-556cade1-e5c5
- Obtaining an EIN (Tax ID) for your Church: https://jctaccounting.com/2022/12/02/walkthrough-applying-for-church-ein/
- Is my Church a 501(c)(3): https://jctaccounting.com/2023/03/24/is-my-church-a-501c3/