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.
If you want to DIY your payroll, I highly recommend you look at using Gusto! It is very user friendly and their support is awesome! Plus they know how to set up and maintain payrolls for churches and nonprofit organizations.
Note: I am a "partner" of Gusto, but as I have told you before ... I never recommend anything that we or our clients have not tried and love =)