U.S. tax guidelines

The Mother Church sent the following documents to branches in March 2007. Several of these documents were updated in March 2009, as noted. Click the links below to download them as PDFs.

These documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. Download the free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  • Cover letter from the Clerk of The Mother Church, click here — cover letter from the Clerk — to open.
  • Guidelines to Obligations of Branch Churches and Societies to Withhold Federal Income and Social Security Taxes and to Report Compensation (March 2009), click here — guidelines of obligations 2011 — to open.
  • Notice to Readers (March 2009), click here — notice to Readers 2011 — to open.
  • Exemption from Self-Employment Tax for Newly Elected Readers of Christian Science Churches (March 2009), click here — self-employment exemption 2011 — to open.
    • September 13, 1955 (referenced on page 3 of the Newly Elected Readers packet), click here — letter September 13, 1955 — to open.
    • Download Form 4361 (referenced on page 3 of the Newly Elected Readers packet) from the IRS website, click here — download Form 4361 — to open.
  • Charitable Contributions—Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements (March 2009), click here — charitable contributions requirements — to open.

Tax determination letters from the US Treasury Department (IRS)

  • Letter establishing the tax-exempt status of The Mother Church (May 25, 1936), click here — letter May 25, 1936 — to open.
  • Letter establishing the tax-exempt status of all branch churches and societies recognized by The Mother Church under the tax-exempt umbrella of The Mother Church’s group exemption (June 3, 1941), click here — letter June 3, 1941 — to open.
  • Letter reconfirming the tax exempt status of The Mother Church, referring to Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3), which is a re-numbering (as of the 1954 rewriting of the Code) of Code section 101(6) cited in the 1936 and 1941 letters (May 16, 1994), click here — letter May 16, 1994 — to open.

You should print out and keep these letters in your permanent records.

They may be useful in proving the tax-exempt status of your church or society in situations such as proving tax deductibility of charitable contributions to your church, and obtaining branch church exemption from sales tax in your state, where such exemption is available.

Providing copies of these three letters (plus a photocopy of the page in The Christian Science Journal where your branch is advertised) to persons requiring proof of your tax-exempt status will satisfy inquiries in almost all cases.

If you have questions, please contact:
 Merrily Rowse