The IRS published Tax Tip 2018-138 with information for charitable organizations applying for tax exempt status.

Charitable organizations should apply for tax-exempt status from the IRS.  In order to apply, a determination must be made as to its type:  trust, corporation or association.

Once the determination has been made, there are three additional steps:

1. Gather organization documents:

Each application for exemption except Form 1023-EZ  must be accompanied by an exact copy of the organization’s  organizing document.  This is generally one of these:

  • Articles of incorporation for a corporation
  • Articles of organization for a limited liability company
  • Articles of association or constitution for an association
  • Trust agreement or declaration of trust for a trust

*Organizations that do not have an organizing document will not qualify for tax-exempt status.

If the organization’s name has been legally changed by an amendment to its organizing documents, an exact copy of the amendment should be attached to the application.

State law generally determines whether an organization is properly created and establishes the requirements for organizing documents.


2. Determine the state’s registration requirements:

State government websites have useful information including tax information, registration requirements for charities, and information for employers.

3. Get an employer ID number for the new organization:

Organizations can apply for an EIN online, by fax, or by mail. International applicants may apply by phone.


You can read the full IRS Tax Tip here.


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