July 2017 – Oklahoma Province OCDS

This statement supersedes all previous statements on bank accounts.
The online document is the only one to be considered official.

Version for Printing


Provincial Policy for OCDS Community Bank Accounts

Communities must have a bank account in the name of the community.  Community funds are never to be put into anyone’s personal account or mixed with personal funds. Community funds are not to be held by any other organization or individual.

There must be at least two members able to write checks on the account.  These are usually the President and the Treasurer.  The signers are to be changed as members change responsibilities in the community.


Recommended procedure for setting up a Community bank account (not policy)

1.The community will need an employee identification number (EIN)

Before you start, you will need the social security number of a responsible member of the community.  [The IRS now requires this to prevent money laundering for terrorist groups.  Don’t worry; it will not be linked to the bank account.]

You will need to agree on what to call your community for banking purposes.
[See endnote.]

When you are ready, go to the IRS website.  The current link is https://sa.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp

Follow the online instructions. 

When answering the first question “What type of legal structure is applying for an EIN?” select “view additional types.”

Select “community or volunteer group.”

When filling out the information about the “responsible party,” choose “I am a responsible and duly authorized officer or member of this organization.”

When filling out the name of the community, use the name you agreed to use on the bank account.

When you get to “Tell us more about the Community or Volunteer Group,” answer “no” to all of the questions.

On the next page, for the question “What does your business or organization do?” select “other.”  On the next page select “other” again and type in “prayer and study” or just “study.”

Select the option “receive letter online.”  Print out several copies.  Also save the document as a pdf file to your computer so it can be sent as an attachment to later presidents and treasurers.


2.You will need to find a bank with free checking.

Most local banks have free checking for small businesses or community organizations.  The easiest thing is to look at the bank’s website.  Most have a minimum starting deposit, usually $100.  The community will have to pay for printed checks.

Check with the bank about what kind of documentation they require.  Usually it is a letter stating what the group is and who the officers are, and a copy of the EIN certificate.

Do not tell them you are part of the Carmelite Order or part of the Catholic Church.  They will want proof – letters from the Order or the parish.  You are an “independent Christian prayer and study group.”

DO NOT tell them you are a non-profit.  That opens a whole other set of demands.

The EIN will be used to open the account.  The social security number of the “responsible party” will in no way be linked to the account.

The President and Treasurer go to the bank together to fill out the paperwork, so that either one can write a check.  Some communities have the Formation Director able to sign checks too, as back up for the President.

When a new president or treasurer takes office, the previous president or treasurer will need to go to the bank with them to have them added to the account.  The old officers are taken off the account.


Endnote: community name for banking purposes

It is important to include “Carmelite” as part of the name.  Members will often make checks out to “carmelites”, and the bank will not reject the check if “carmelite” is part of the official name.


The name for the bank account may be some variation of the actual name of the community.

“Our Lady of Grace Carmelites” “Our Lady of Grace Carmelite Community”
“OLG Carmelites”


Or the city and some variation of “Carmelites.”

“Peoria Carmelites” “Peoria Carmelite Seculars” “Peoria Carmelite Community”