- Contact Us
Don't Let It Fall Through the Cracks!
In the last few days and weeks I have been privileged to work with a number of churches who have found out some very disturbing news. Listed here are a few of the scenarios.
The first church found out that they were no longer considered an incorporated church by the state and had not been incorporated since the late 1980’s. Another church found out that they owed property taxes dating back a number of years. Still another church had almost lost their non-profit status. I would like to encourage you to remember that there are a few items we need to take care of each year.
Each year you will get a card from the State of Colorado, Secretary of State. You need to go online and file an annual report. You will be asked to use an 11 digit identification number which is printed on the face of the card you receive. You will need to answer a few questions and then submit the report. There is a small fee required at the time of filing. Once you do file the report you can print a certificate that states your church is in good standing with the State of Colorado as a nonprofit corporation.
It even has the “official seal” of Colorado on it. If you have not been receiving this card annually, then you have probably lost your non-profit corporation status within the state. If you need help in reinstating this certificate, please call and I can help you get reinstated. In addition, each year every church must submit an “exempt property report” to the State of Colorado, Division of Property Taxation to be exempt from property taxes. This report should be mailed to you early each year and it must be submitted back to the state by April 15. The fee for this submission in 2010 was $73 if filed on time. On the report you will see a legal description of your property and an estimated value. There are a few questions to answer on the report. One of the questions deals with a mission statement and usually we just attach a copy of our official mission statement.
We then cut a check and mail it along with the report to the appropriate address. This report is very important to do because if you fail to do it then you will eventually find yourself with a property tax bill arriving at your church. I would encourage you to look and see if you have been filling out this report yearly.
Finally, let me address one more issue. Many of our churches have changed their names in the last few years. The most efficient way to change the church name is to “file a statement of trade name” with the state. Trade name is also known as Doing Business As (DBA) name. This DBA filing allows you to retain the old name while using the new name. If you have not done this process but instead have incorporated under an entirely new name then you must submit an application for your property tax exemption under the new name. A few of our churches have totally incorporated under a new name and have failed to reapply for a new property exemption. If you have done a name change, then please make sure that you reapply for the property tax exemption. If not, guess what comes knocking on your door? You’re right, a bill for the property taxes due.
If you have questions regarding any of this information please contact Doug Lohrey at email@example.com.