Churches and religious organizations are generally tax exempt. In this context, "church" means any place of worship, including mosques and synagogues. Religious organizations include ministries and other organizations involved in the promotion or study of religion. Churches that meet the requirements of Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) aren't required to apply for tax-exempt status, but many still do. The reason? Tax-exempt status lets people know that financial contributions they make to the church are tax-deductible. Churches may become involved in public policy, but they have to be careful. A church that focuses on lobbying (influencing legislation) or becomes involved in a political campaign may lose its tax-exempt status.