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Life Cycle of an Exempt Organization - Applying to the IRS

Once an organization has been created under state law and begins to operate, it may want to be recognized as exempt under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. In addition to exemption from federal income taxation, organizations recognized as exempt under section 501(a) may enjoy collateral benefits under the Code, as well as under state or local income, property, sales, use or other tax provisions.

To apply for exemption, an organization should obtain and complete the required forms (exemption application) and application for employer identification number and submit them, along with the required user fee. If an organization will be represented by an attorney or other representative, it must also submit a power of attorney.

Public disclosure requirements apply to exemption applications that the IRS approves. In addition, cases in which the IRS has issued a letter denying or revoking an organization's exempt status are subject to public disclosure under Internal Revenue Code section 6110.

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions About Applying for Exemption


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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 24-Oct-2013