How to Check Your 501(c)(3) Status

by Andrea Helaine; Updated September 26, 2017
Man signing financial paperwork

If your organization has recently submitted an application as a 501(c)(3)--the designation for a tax-exempt charitable--you may wonder if your application was approved. Speaking with the Internal Revenue Service department processing your application may not be an option, however, other methods exist that can help you check your 501(c)(3) status.

Items you will need

  • Internet access
  • Computer
  • Telephone
Step 1

Go to the Internal Revenue Service website (reference 1) and click on “charities and non-profits.” Once you have chosen this option, it will bring you away from the homepage to the “charities and non-profits” page. On the left, there is list of topics, including “search for charities.” Click on this option and you will again be re-directed to a search page.

Step 2

Click on “search now,” on the search for charities page. You will be given a few different search options, including the name of the organization based on one or all of the words, the location, and even the deductibility code. If you choose to search results by deductibility code, choose “5” for charitable non-profit organizations.

Step 3

Choose “search” once you have entered the information the name of the organization and the city or state. You will be directed to a new page. You may then search through the list of tax-exempt organizations that are listed on the IRS website. The list generated may be extensive, so you may need to search based on city or add in other search parameters by beginning a new search.

Tips

  • Keep in mind that it may take several days for the IRS to update the website. This list is often used for potential donors to ensure the validity of your organization prior to donating. You may also call the IRS to see if an organization is tax exempt by contacting 1-877-829-5500.

Warnings

  • The review process for an IRS 501(c)(3) determination may take several weeks to several months, so avoid calling or searching prior to three months after submission to the IRS.

About the Author

Andrea Helaine has a Bachelor of Philosophy in theology and is currently finishing her thesis course for a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. Helaine has been writing professionally for over 10 years and has been published in several anthologies and is currently breaking into the screenwriting market.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images