How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question

Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 88625
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
Type Your Business Law Question Here...
Law Educator, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I am Rev. Dr. H. Edward Rowe, B.A., Th.M., D.D. I am

Customer Question

Hello, I am Rev. Dr. H. XXXXXX XXXX, B.A., Th.M., D.D. I am a "retired" ordained Christian Minister in my 85th year of life and doing my best to serve God and man in my "old age." I have founded a Christian Mission which I have called "ALPHA REFUGEE ASSISTANCE INTERNATIONAL," that is seeking to assist refugees who have fled to Ghana from war ravaged countries on the Continent of Africa. I have not yet incorporated this ministry, although I intend to do so as soon as possible. MY QUESTION: IS IT LEGALLY OK TO OPERATE A CHRISTIAN MINISTRY WITHOUT INCORPORATING, AND TO RECEIVE FREE WILL FINANCIAL HELP FROM CHRISTIAN RELATIVES AND FRIENDS WHO IDENTIFY WITH MY CHRISTIAN MINISTRY? As you must know, many small churches meeting in homes and shopping centers are unincorporated. I know incorporation has advantages, but UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT, WHICH DENIES GOVERNMENT THE RIGHT TO LIMIT THE “FREE EXERCISE” OF RELIGION, IS INCORPORATION LEGALLY REQUIRED BEFORE AN ORDAINED CHRISTIAN MINISTER CAN LEGALLY OPERATE A SMALL PRIVATE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY? IN MY CASE THERE HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTELY NO GENERAL PUBLIC APPEALS FOR FUNDS VIA MAIL, RADIO, TV OR OTHERWISE. ALL CONTRIBUTIONS HAVE BEEN, AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE, STRICTLY PERSONAL AND VOLUNTARY.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
No, the problem is that any contributions you receive without being incorporated and registered as a non-profit entity would legally have to be declared on your income taxes and taxes would have to be paid. Additionally, if anyone has any suit against the ministry, you would be personally liable. The reason for incorporation thus is not really about denying the right to limit religion, it is about compliance for tax purposes and protecting yourself from personal liability.

I hope you found my answer helpful, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT button above for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated!

If you have additional questions, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

PLEASE NOTE WELL, LEGAL ANSWERS TAKE MORE THAN “MINUTES” TO PUT TOGETHER AS WE ARE DEALING WITH LAWS OF 50 STATES PLUS FEDERAL LAWS, AS WELL AS DEALING WITH OTHER CUSTOMERS, SO PLEASE BE PATIENT IT WILL BE MORE THAN “MINUTES” IN SOME CASES BEFORE YOU GET A RESPONSE, BUT BE ASSURED YOU ARE NOT BEING IGNORED.

There can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.

You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-paulmjd/ or beginning your question with “For PaulMJD…”

Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 88625
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
Law Educator, Esq. and 7 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Paul,

Would not taxing me for donations to a purely Christian ministry amount to
a limitation on the "free exercise of religion?" Sorry, but I cannot it
otherwise. I have not personally received one dollar from my ministry.
Taxing dollars that were donated to a Christian ministry can tax the
ministry out of existence, thus limiting the "FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION."
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
See, the thing is that the government is not impairing your religion by taxation, it is just that as an individual you cannot accept donations without accounting for them and paying taxes (of course if you can prove that you took the money and gave it to an actual registered non-profit entity after then you could deduct it from your personal income). They are not stopping you from practice, just telling you that you have to do so in a proper legal manner, which is forming a corporation or LLC and obtaining non-profit status which you can easily obtain for this purpose and then you can take in donations as you see fit.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DC/DCraneEsq/2012-8-14_14436_DCrane.64x64.jpg MShore Law's Avatar

    MShore Law

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1233
    Drafted Negotiated and/or Reviewed Thousands of Commercial Agreements
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1162
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1142
    Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ohioatty/2009-1-22_185545_me.jpg J.Hazelbaker's Avatar

    J.Hazelbaker

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Experienced and trained in the area of business law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/scottymacesq/2009-6-10_221523_small.jpg RGMacEsq's Avatar

    RGMacEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    301
    13 years practicing attorney, MBA
 
 
 

Related Business Law Questions