501(c)(3) & additional info

  • GuideStar: Of all the institutions to date that have approved the Real Liberal Christian Church's 501(c)(3) Status, GuideStar required the most documentation and substantiation from and by the Real Liberal Christian Church (RLCC). We are listed on GuideStar and Network for Good.
  • Capital One 360: Also after rigorous due-diligence, Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct) approved the RLCC's Charity/Nonprofit Status.
  • PayPal: PayPal Compliance authenticated the Nonprofit Status of the RLCC and Christian Commons Project for purposes of the RLCC's PayPal Nonprofit Business Account. The RLCC submitted all required evidentiary documentation to PayPal Compliance, as part of PayPal's thorough Due-Diligence Process.
  • Bank of America: Bank of America approved the RLCC as a Charity/Nonprofit Organization for purposes of banking with them as a nonprofit.
  • Department of Licensing: The Real Liberal Christian Church has a "Master Business License" with the Department of Licensing, State of Washington. Enter "Real Liberal Christian Church" without the quotation marks in the "Business or Trade Name:" textbox.
  • Department of Revenue: The Real Liberal Christian Church is registered with the Department of Revenue, State of Washington. Enter "Real Liberal Christian Church" without the quotation marks in the "Business or owner name" textbox.
  • Secretary of State: The RLCC is registered with the office of the Secretary of State, State of Washington, Charitable Solicitations Program, as a Charity in Good Standing.
  • IRS (U.S. Internal Revenue Service): The RLCC is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3).
  • IRS: The RLCC's FORM 990-N.

The Real Liberal Christian Church is a §501(c)(3) religious organization for the advancement of the religion of Christianity.

Exempt Purposes - Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3)
The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are [among other things]...religious.... The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes [among other things]...advancement of religion....

Programs and activities which support the stated purposes:

The advancement of the religion of Christianity with emphasis on planning and development to accomplish the following: 1) Fundraise for the Land and Building Fund (L&B Fund) of the Christian Commons Project of the Real Liberal Christian Church 2) Grow organic food for members and the hungry 3) Supply food banks 4) Construct and rehabilitate housing for members and the hungry 5) Make clothes for members and the needy 6) Conduct church liturgy (sacraments) 7) Conduct ministries to educate and train youth and seminarians to be democratically, congregationally ordained 8) Conduct outreach (Internet; membership drives) 9) Plant churches (house churches, cell churches) and 10) All other things consistent with the message of Jesus Christ

Donations to the RLCC are Tax Deductible on U.S. Federal Income Tax Returns.

Corporate donors may deduct all contributions to this 501(c)(3) up to an amount normally equal to 10% of taxable income.

IRS Publication 1828 (Rev. 6-2008): Internal Revenue Service; Tax Exempt and Government Entities; Exempt Organizations: "Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations," States as follows:

IRC section 501(c)(3) describes charitable organizations, including churches and religious organizations, which qualify for exemption from federal income tax and generally are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. This section provides that:

  • an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious or other charitable purposes,
  • net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder,
  • no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation,
  • the organization may not intervene in political campaigns, and
  • the organization's purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

Until such time as the RLCC:...

  1. Has annual gross receipts greater than $25,000 and/or
  2. Has sufficient members and an established place of worship and/or
  3. Is ordaining ministers after formal courses of study all where items 2 & 3 are as defined by the IRS for their publican/tax-collector purposes (And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. — Luke 18:13)

...the RLCC will file by May 15, or any legal extension time, each year IRS FORM 990-N (Electronic Notice for Tax Exempt Organizations) covering the prior fiscal/calendar year.

The RLCC is in the official database of the IRS as a 501(c)(3) (Effective: Monday, March 16, 2009). The RLCC's FORM 990-N was accepted by the IRS on April 16, 2009. Concerning our FORM 990-N 2008, "section E Website:" was left blank by the IRS and not by the RLCC.

At this point, we must point out that contrary to mischaracterizations and misrepresentations by those who seek to persecute and who cast unsubstantiated and unsupportable allegations of fraud, the RLCC has never even remotely suggested that it has a congregation or liturgical-service worshippers or any church building where such services are held. From the very first time, and ever since, when anyone has ever made any enquiries concerning the then current size or scope of the professing membership or Church mundane assets or the like, never once has the RLCC failed to make clear the fact of its start-up phase, membership, or mundane assets, etc. That information has been publicly available on this website since its inception.

The RLCC and Christian Commons Project are ground floor. That fact has never been hidden or disguised.

Tom Usher (the author of his statement) has never claimed ordination by any other church, denomination, or religion.

The RLCC is standalone with God and Jesus.

Those who hate the themes of this Church: Anti-war (Jesus never justifies taking up the sword); anti-worldly imperialism; anti-military occupation; anti-greed (capitalism and coercive self-styled socialism); anti-sexual perversion (including homosexuality); etc.; and who consequently hate what we love: Total pacifism; the giving-and-sharing political-economic vision of the message and acts of Jesus Christ; and sexual purity that is harmless and necessarily heterosexual (even though heterosexuals can be, and often are, harmful), faithful, and monogamous; go out of their way to defame, slander, and libel the RLCC and Tom. We though, turn the other cheek to them.

We annually supply the following to the IRS:

  • Employer identification number (EIN), also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)): 64-0952633
  • Tax year: Calendar Year
  • Legal name and mailing address: REAL LIBERAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH: 15904 4TH AVENUE SOUTH, 33, BURIEN WA 98148-1278
  • All other names the organization uses: RLCC, RLC Church, Christian Commons, Christian Commons Project, CCP, CCP-RLCC, RLCC-CCP
  • Name and address of a principal officer: THOMAS H USHER, 15904 4TH AVENUE SOUTH, 33, BURIEN WA 98148-1278
  • Web site address: http://www.realliberalchristianchurch.org
  • Confirmation that the organization's annual gross receipts are normally $25,000 or less: They are

{Note: We do not endorse or campaign for or oppose any candidate for secular public office. Attempting to influence secular legislation is not a substantial part of our activity. We are focused on influencing hearts, minds, and souls individually and corporately as the Church, wholly separate and distinct from the secular state. It is within this light that first and foremost we study and openly discuss secular policies and practices, to advance Christian understanding of all issues (environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific, social-justice related, and more) and to act accordingly.}

¶'s 7 & 8

of the

Real Liberal Christian Church

as amened

...no member, trustee, director, officer, or otherwise, of the Association, or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any Association assets on dissolution of the Association.

...assets shall be exclusively distributed to one or more Christian organizations which, in the judgment of the directors, is most consistent with the doctrines of the Association, and which organization or organizations would then qualify under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and its Regulations as they now exist or as they may be hereafter amended, or to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.

Please note that no donations are going to executive compensation of any kind.

100% of amounts donated by other than Tom Usher are going into the L&B Fund of the Christian Commons Project. It is anticipated that such will remain the case until there are sufficient funds in the L&B Fund to lease (temporarily) or to purchase land and until Church administration is a full-time occupation for the executive director and any staff.

Tom Usher is working in addition to writing and operating the website, etc., for the RLCC. All of his personal earnings over and above basic living expenses are being used to cover Church overhead (Internet, operating expenses, photocopying, filing fees, bank charges, etc.) and then the balance of his earnings are now going into the L&B Fund.

The RLCC: Tax-Exempt — just not Reporting-Exempt

The distinction between tax-exempt and reporting-exempt is confusing to all but the most astute observers. It is a very important distinction. The two must not be erroneously conflated.

Concerning the Office of the Secretary of State for the State of Washington, Charitable Solicitations Program, Charity Profile Report on the RLCC, please note that the RLCC's "Federal Tax Status" is shown as "Under$5000" [subject to change without notice to the RLCC]; however, that does not mean that the RLCC is not a 501(c)(3) or that the RLCC is limited to contributions under $5,000. It only means that the RLCC has typically received donations under $5,000. Hence, the RLCC files FORM 990-N with the IRS, as stated above.

A "Church," as defined by the IRS (not as defined by Jesus Christ in the Holy Scripture and necessarily therefore by the RLCC), is exempt from such reporting requirements except where the entity's legal tax-status has come into question. Many churches choose to register with the IRS as such to obtain an official exemption from further reporting. There is an exorbitant fee charged by the IRS for this ($800+ upon last checking).

Federal law does not require a religious organization to apply to the IRS to be "granted" 501(c)(3) status before such status is extended. Such status can be revoked, however, where an entity does not meet the legal definition of a 501(c)(3).

The RLCC clearly meets the definition of a non-profit (hence Washington's listing of the RLCC) as expressly stated in the IRS Publication 1828, "Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations," cited and quoted above and elsewhere on this site; but the RLCC has not moved to obtain official recognition by the IRS as a "Church," per se, thereafter to no longer file annual reports.

This whole area is complicated and convoluted (revenue raising for the various governmental agencies and departments) but bears stating here since many people might otherwise misconstrue and erroneously conclude and spread disinformation about the RLCC by falsely claiming that the RLCC is not a recognized, tax-exempt, non-profit charity under federal and state law.

Furthermore, the dollar figures reported to the State for 2008 were all zeros. Hence the "0% of its total expenses to program services" language.

Tom Usher paid all the RLCC's overhead expenses for 2008 and before and directly from his personal accounts, which amounts are not reflected in the RLCC financial statements for 2008 and before. It wasn't worth the effort because at his income tax bracket, the standard deduction for Tom was greater than were he to have itemized.

As stated above, 100% of amounts donated by other than Tom Usher are going into the L&B Fund of the Christian Commons Project.

In addition, until the RLCC has sufficient funds in its L&B Fund of the Christian Commons Project to afford to lease (temporarily) or to purchase land for the Commons, "Program Services"

...the total gross dollar value of expenditures used directly for charitable program services and not as administrative and fund raising costs (including, but not limited to, expenses if not directly related to program services: salaries, wages, compensation, legal, accounting, occupancy, equipment costs, printing and publications, telephone, postage, supplies, travel, meetings, fees for services, and cost of goods or inventory sold that are not directly related to program services and including amounts paid to or retained by commercial fund raisers and/or fund raising counsel....

as reported to the State, will remain very low as a percentage of total expenditures.

Finally, the Office of the Secretary of State (1-800-332-4483) for the State of Washington, under it's official Charities Program (Charitable Solicitation Act, RCW 19.09; RLCC Registration #21201), is the irrevocable Statutory Agent or record of the Real Liberal Christian Church in the State of Washington, U.S.A.

We hope this information about official forms and procedures, which are especially oppressively complex and time consuming, proves satisfactorily forthcoming (appropriately transparent).

Update: Sunday, March 15, 2009:
Additional Useful Information:

IRS Publication 557
(Rev. June 2008)
Cat. No. 46573C
Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization
Organizations Not Required To File FORM 1023
Some organizations are not required to file FORM 1023.
These include:
Any organization (other than a private foundation) normally having annual gross receipts of not more than $5,000 (see Gross receipts test, later). These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3).
Gross receipts test. For purposes of the gross receipts test, an organization normally does not have more than $5,000 annually in gross receipts if:
1. During its first tax year the organization received gross receipts of $7,500 or less,
2. During its first 2 years the organization had a total of $12,000 or less in gross receipts, and
3. In the case of an organization that has been in existence for at least 3 years, the total gross receipts received by the organization during the immediately preceding 2 years, plus the current year, are $15,000 or less.
Religious Organizations
To determine whether an organization meets the religious purposes test of section 501(c)(3), the IRS maintains two basic guidelines.
1. That the particular religious beliefs of the organization are truly and sincerely held.
2. That the practices and rituals associated with the organization's religious belief or creed are not illegal or contrary to clearly defined public policy.
Therefore, your group (or organization) may not qualify for treatment as an exempt religious organization for tax purposes if its actions, as contrasted with its beliefs, are contrary to well established and clearly defined public policy. If there is a clear showing that the beliefs (or doctrines) are sincerely held by those professing them, the IRS will not question the religious nature of those beliefs.
[What the RLCC is not is a] 501(d) Religious and Apostolic Associations [conducting] Regular business activities. Communal religious community.


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