According to Richard Hammar, one of the leading authorities on church legal and tax matters, churches must now file Form 8822-B for any changes in address or of “responsible parties” with regard to the churches’ EIN. He addressed this matter in the April 2014 issue of Church Finance Today, a monthly newsletter published by the magazine Christianity Today.
Most churches have an EIN (employer identification number). That number was obtained from the IRS, probably years ago, by filing Form SS-4. Churches need this number to open bank accounts and to handle W-2s and other employee matters with the IRS and the Social Security Administration. The IRS recently began requiring all entities with an EIN to update any changes to their designated “responsible party” including mailing addresses. Most churches would probably name the pastor, the treasurer, or a trustee as the “responsible party” since they have some degree of control over the management the churches’ direction and its use of resources.
Although there is no penalty for failure to notify the IRS through Form 8822-B, the church could have to pay penalties or interest that accrued because the IRS could not get in touch with the appropriate person to notify them about disputes. The form is very simple and basic to fill out, taking about 15 minutes. You can download the form and instructions at www.irs.gov/form8822.