What does it mean to be a "501(c)(3)" organization?
"501(c)(3)" organizations qualify for exemption from federal income tax. Additionally, all or some of contributions made to these organizations may be tax deductible by the contributor. "501(c)(3)" is the section of the Internal Revenue Code ("the Code") that provides for the tax exemption.
What are the requirements for becoming a 501(c)(3) organization?
In order to be tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code, a corporation must be organized and operated exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, literary or scientific purposes.
Further, the corporation:
- Must not have any earnings that inure to private individuals
- Must not carry on substantial activities to influence legislation
- Must not participate in any way in any political campaign
The corporation's articles of incorporation must contain restrictions on the corporation's activities that demonstrate that it was organized for one of the permissible purposes under the Code.
**Generally, corporations who wish to qualify for tax exempt status under 501(c)(3) must obtain recognition of this status from the IRS as a condition to the exemption by applying to the IRS.
Organizations who wish to apply for tax exempt status should contact an attorney in their jurisdiction.