A Message from Heather Kimmel, General Counsel to the UCC:

I am alerting you to a situation that I became aware of on Monday [May 25th, 2021].  As you know, the UCC maintains a federal group tax exemption (since 1964) for the benefit of its Local Churches, Associations, Conferences, certain National Setting companies, and certain affiliated companies.  The group exemption is identified by a unique EIN, as assigned by the IRS, that is under the name of “United Church of Christ.”  We have become aware that a Local Church of the UCC is filing returns under the UCC’s group exemption EIN, and as a result the name and address of the denomination have been changed by the IRS to the name and address of this Local Church.  This is also reflected in GuideStar.

This means that any Local Church requesting a group exemption letter from the National Setting to prove to a third party (including donors and grantors) that they are a tax-exempt organization may be unable to do so because the EIN and name/address on our letter no longer match the name/address associated with the EIN in the IRS’s Exempt Organization database.  Our CFO and I are investigating and will work to correct the situation with the IRS.  I have spoken with my counterparts at several other denominations who have experienced the same issue and the consensus is that the process to repair this can be lengthy, given that it is the IRS we are dealing with.  We will continue to issue group exemption letters to Local Churches as requested and will also notify Local Churches of the circumstances when we send such a letter.

Each church setting should have its own EIN that it uses for identification, banking, and employment tax returns.  Under no circumstances should any Local Church or other church setting use the denomination’s EIN, or any other setting’s EIN, to do business.  I am certain that most of our churches know this but wanted to this opportunity to remind folks of this fact.

Heather E. Kimmel (she/her)
General Counsel
United Church of Christ, National Ministries
700 Prospect Ave East | Cleveland, OH 44115-1100
216-736-2138 | kimmelh@ucc.org