Before forming a nonprofit corporation that will become a tax exempt organization or charity, watch the IRS video called “Applying for Tax Exemption – an Overview.”  See also the IRS website called “Tax Basics for Exempt Organizations,’ which has several tax-exempt entity educational videos.

The IRS offers the following resources to help the manager of a new exempt organization navigate tax issues.

  • Life Cycle of an Exempt Organization: Helpful information about points of intersection between tax-exempt organizations and the IRS, including access to explanatory information and forms that an organization may need to file with the IRS. Separate life cycle sites are provided for public charities, private foundations, social welfare organizations, labor organizations, agricultural or horticultural organizations, and business leagues (trade associations).
  • Applying for Tax-Exempt Status (brochure): Criteria and procedures for applying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
  • Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Public Charities (brochure): Activities that may jeopardize a charity’s exempt status, federal tax filings, recordkeeping, changes to be reported to the IRS, required public disclosures, and IRS resources. Separate guides are available for private foundations .
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • EO Forms and Publications: IRS forms, publications, and internal training materials relating to tax-exempt organizations.
  • Employment Taxes for Exempt Organizations: Links to information about employment taxes for tax-exempt organizations.
  • Schedule of Events: Workshops and conferences for exempt organizations.
  • On-Line Workshops and Mini-Courses: An on-line version of IRS workshop for small and mid-sized exempt organizations, and mini-courses on applying for exemption, foundation status, annual return preparation (Form 990), deductibility of contributions, and resources for exempt organizations.
  • Retirement Plan Information for Exempt Organizations: Information and resources for tax-exempt organizations interested in establishing retirement plans for employees.
  • Exempt Organizations Products and Services Navigator (brochure): Resources for exempt organizations.
  • Annual Electronic Filing Requirement for Small Exempt Organizations – Form 990-N (e-Postcard)