The definition for a church in the United States can get a bit complicated for tax purposes.
Let me start by saying...the IRS doesn’t actually have an exact church definition.
A former commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Jerome Kurtz, stated the following in presenting guidelines for IRS agents in determining if an organization is a church or not:
“Since beliefs and practices are so varied, the IRS cannot define a church, but resorts to a case-by-case approach to determine whether an organization is a church.”
In order for a church to be qualified to receive tax-exempt status for the IRS, they must meet certain conditions.
IRS News Release 1930 listed the following guidelines for its agents in determining whether an organization is indeed a church.
14 Points of Criteria
**The IRS generally uses a combination of these characteristics,together with other facts and circumstances, to determine whether an organization is considered a church for federal tax purpose.