" ...it is completely unnecessary for any church to apply for tax-exempt status."
now, anyone can assert anything on the Interwebs.
the disturbing thing is that the IRS fact sheets ... say the exact same thing.
"Some organizations are not required to file Form 1023 or 1023-EZ. These include:
Churches, interchurch organizations of
local units of a church, conventions or associations of churches, or
of a church, such as a men's or women's
organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group.
Any organization (other than a private foundation) normally having annual gross receipts of not more than $5,000 (see Gross receipts test, later).
These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3)."
therefore, NO CHURCH is 'required' to file Form 1023 or to be licensed as a 501(c)(3) in order to be exempt from, not only paying taxes, but FILING tax paperwork.
and any pastor who tells you otherwise IS LYING.