Corporation Sole FAQs

  • What is a corporation sole?

    A corporation sole is an office consisting of one person only, and his successors in some particular position within the Body of Messiah/Christ or religious order to give them sole legal capacities and advantages, particularly that of perpetuity, which in their natural person they could not have had and to hold the assets and governance of the church in that office.

  • What is an office of corporation sole?

    The office of a corporation sole is a church official administrational position of a person succeeding one another in some official positions [officeholders] within the church/ministry for the work of the ministry.

    Example: Pastor, Elder, Bishop, Apostle, Evangelist, Prophet, Overseer

  • What is a corporation sole formed for?

    Corporation Sole may be formed to acquire, hold and dispose of church or religious society property and for the benefit of religion.

  • Is the ministry/church incorporated?

    No. The office is incorporated, not the church/ministry, nor the congregation.

  • Is there by-laws in a corporation sole?

    No. The corporation sole does not have the requirements of a corporation (i.e. 501c3). It does not have by-laws, a board of directors, officers, stock, stockholders, official minutes, or corporate name. The reason being it simply is NOT a corporation as in business corporations. Church by-laws and constitution can be used within the church, but they are separate from the corporation sole office.

  • Does the corporation sole have a charter/articles of incorporation?

    The older corporation soles are devoid of a royal charter or other formal authorization characteristics. Since then the state acknowledgment later became an alleged requirement, or at least a state policy, a theory had to be developed to justify the corporation sole existence of the ancient church.

  • How are the articles of incorporation sole written?

    The particular state articles are followed and then separate articles are written in the ecclesiastical, canon law.

  • Can a corporation sole receive donations and give tax deductions?

    Yes. Because a corporation sole is in the same status [standing] as a 501c3 corporation according to the IRS code as a non-profit exempt organization, it can receive and give tax deduction receipts. The donations belong to the church, not the corporation sole individually. The corporation sole gives tax deduction receipts on behalf of the church ministry according to IRC170.

  • Can a corporation sole be formed to do business?

    NO! There are a lot of promoters that are making wild claims that corporation sole can be used for business. In reality the IRS will look at this as sole proprietorship or at least a business trust. In both cases the taxation benefit is totally lost. A true corporation sole is not an entity or organization and is not for doing business. It is for Church/parachurch.

  • Can a corporation sole be formed for estate planning?

    NO! There are a lot of promoters that are promoting corporation sole as an estate planning tool. A corporation sole is not an instrument for estate planning.

  • an a corporation sole be used for reducing income tax?

    NO! There are a lot of promoters promoting corporation sole illegally stating that their income would be tax exempt. They are using them for tax evasion. There have been lawsuits filed and indictments made on these bogus tax scams promoters. Corporation sole has nothing to do with avoiding taxes. It is for the purpose of the Church only.

  • Can anyone be a corporation sole?

    NO! There are a lot of promoter’s prorogating that anyone can be a corporation sole. This is not true. As stated above, a corporation sole is an office for those in ministry/church doing religious works as a non-profit status and not for personal gain.

  • Can the corporation sole purchase property?

    Yes. Holding property for church in the corporation sole is one of the purposes for establishing a corporation sole. This includes: Parish home, church, vehicles, etc.

  • If I am in ministry as a corporation sole and my spouse is my successor and I die, and she succeeds my office. When she dies, how will she get our asset to our children (heirs)?

    If you have heirs to pass your personal assets to, an Irrevocable Canon Law Trust can be formed for estate planning. Your children/heirs are the

    beneficiaries, thus receiving your personal assets by your directive.

  • If I am presently a 501c3 corporation and desire to be a corporation sole, can this be accomplished?

    Yes. According to IRS Publication 557 under heading “Dedication and Distribution of Assets of the 501c3 corporation it states that if you dissolve the 501c3 corporation, you must donate the assets to another exempt purposedescribed in this chapter, or to the federal government or to a state or local government for a public purpose.” In chapter three, page 15 of publication 557 those that are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of the 501(c)3 section of the IRC, Include: churches, interchurch organizations, auxiliaries of church…..” IRS publication 1828 states on page 3, “Churches may be legally organized in a variety of ways under state law, including ……corporation sole.” The IRS is stating that a church is recognized as the same status as a 501(c)3 corporation that is under a corporation sole. Thus the assets of the 501(c)3 corporation can be donated to the corporation sole without loss of assets.

  • Does the IRS recognize a corporation sole?

    Yes. IRS publication 1828 states on page 3, “Churches may be legally organized in a variety of ways under state law, including………corporation sole.” The IRS is stating that a church is recognized as the same status as a 501(c)3 corporation that is under a corporation sole.

  • Besides Canon Law, where do you find the legality of corporation sole?

    Corporation is found in state statutes in various states. There are approximately 15 states that directly and openly have corporation sole. At least nine other states or jurisdiction have at least one corporation sole created under private charter for the purpose of religion, for eleemosynary (charity), works, education and for public worship.

  • Does the corporation sole have to file income tax?

    No. It is considered and recognized as a church/ministry as a nonprofit, tax exempt organization by the IRS.

  • Does a corporation sole required to file for an EIN number from the IRS?

    No. An EIN number is an Employee Identification Number to report taxes for employees. The corporation sole does not have employees or is operating as a business therefore does not need an EIN number. Corporation sole is recognized as a freedom of religious expression and as a nonprofit association by the state.

  • Can a corporation sole open a bank account?

    Yes. It opens an account in the name of the church/parachurch ministry.

  • How does a corporation sole differ from the 501(c)(3) corporation.

    A 501(c)(3) corporation is a corporation established under the IRS Code to operate in commerce as a nonprofit status and tax exemption. A corporation sole is an office within the body of believers (church) to acquire, hold and dispose of church property and for the benefit of religion, for eleemosynary works (charity), education and public worship for the work of the Kingdom of GOD and is recognized as a freedom of religious expression and as a nonprofit association by the state.

  • Will I have any problems with the IRS if I become a corporation sole?

    Yes, If you are not using the corporation sole lawfully and for its intended use within the a church/parachurch as its intended purpose.