The Internal Revenue Code, sections 501 through 505 spelled out the rules for tax-exempts/nonprofits. The code was further amended along the way in 1969, 1976, 1984, 1987. One section of the law reads: Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary or educational purposes, etc. Under this group are: civic leagues, boards of trade, chambers of commerce, churches, etc. For this discussion, let’s reference churchs here, a 501c3 organization.

In churches we have pastors, priests, secretaries, maintenance workers; all receiving their income, benefits and expense accounts from member tithes and offerings. There should be total transparency and communications with members. This, meaning duties defined commensurate with their salaries.

It is protocol in 501c3 organizations that this information is periodically made available to its members. The Internal Revenue Code specifically states the guidelines, therefore an organization can keep its tax-exempt status. The word here is transparency, there is no room for secrecy.

Alan Cohick

Cogan Station