14 Points which the IRS utilizes to assist the agency in determining the classification of an organization as a Church.
1) Distinct legal existence
2) Recognized creed and form of worship
3) Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government
4) Formal code of doctrine and discipline
5) Distinct religious history
6) Membership not associated with any other church or denomination
7) Organization of ordained ministers
8) Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of studies
9) Literature of its own
10) Established places of worship
11) Regular congregations
12) Regular religious services
13) Sunday schools for religious instruction of the young
14) Schools for preparation of its ministers
Note: The IRS may or may not classified a religious organization as a church depending on the numbers of points they have or may have in the future, may still be classified by the IRS as tax exempt "religious organization."
All organization classified in this category must practice the declared belief and statements and conduct the business in accepted accounting ethics. With changes in the organization's practices and purpose this classification may also change. Tax exempt status can be revoked for cause.
The only difference between a church and a religious organization is that the religious organization would be required to file an informational return each year showing the amount of income and the expenditure of the said income, while a church would not be required to file a return disclosing its income or expenditures, Although, it may have to file and pay taxes upon unrelated business income.