How Do I Get a Copy of My 501C3 Tax Exempt Form?

by Randa Morris

The Internal Revenue Service grants tax exemption status to non-profit organizations operating in the United States. Since the IRS requires tax exempt organizations to make all tax records available to the public upon request, the loss of a 501(c)3 document can be detrimental to the organization as a whole. Failing to provide a requested record could be cause for the IRS to revoke tax exemption status. Replacing a lost 501(c)3 form is neither expensive, nor time consuming. The Exemption Organization Determinations Office exists to help non-profit organizations with a wide variety of matters, including replacing forms which have been lost or destroyed.

Call the Exemption Organization Determinations Office for help with replacing the lost form. Be sure to have as much information as possible readily available prior to calling the EO Office. This could include the legal name of the organization, tax-exempt ID, the type of organization (political, religous, charitable etc...), as well as the year in which the form was filed. Once you have gathered the information call the EO Office.

Write to the EO Office to request a copy of the form. In order to expedite the process it is best to include a copy of IRS Form 4506-A, "Request for Public Inspection or Copy of Exempt or Political Organization IRS Form." You can download this form by visiting the Publications section of the IRS website (see References). As of 2010, the IRS charges $57 to replace lost tax forms. You can avoid being charged this fee by clearly stating how the form will be used in your request. Once you have completed form 4506-A, it may be mailed to: Internal Revenue Service TE/GE, EO Determinations Office P.O. Box 2508 Cincinnati, Ohio 45201

Contact other possible sources from whom you may be able to obtain a copy of the form. If you previously hired an accountant or tax preparer, copies of all tax records should be kept in a file at their office. A quick phone call may be all that is needed, if this is the case. If you have previously made the form available for public disclosure, or allowed other persons to retain copies of the form, you may also be able obtain your lost 501(c)3 Form through these individuals.


  • Since the tax records of a tax exempt organization are made available as a part of the IRS public disclosure policy, anyone can request copies of those records from the IRS. When completing form 4506-A, be sure to include your affiliation with the organization, or you may be charged commercial rates for the document.

About the Author

Randa Morris began her freelance career in 1994 as staff reporter for the "Ogemaw County Herald." She works as a full-time content producer for online and print publications. Her writing is often motivated by her work with adult and child trauma survivors. Morris received level two trauma certification from The National Institute of Trauma and Loss in Children.

Photo Credits

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