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Tax Exempt Organization Search: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tax Exempt Organization Search?

Tax Exempt Organization Search is a new online search tool on irs.gov that allows users to search for certain information about an exempt organization’s federal tax status and filings. Tax Exempt Organization Search replaces “EO Select Check,” and offers more information. Tax Exempt Organization Search also makes it easier to search for information about organizations, and is mobile-friendly.

I use a JAWS (or similar) screen reader. Will I be able to use the Tax Exempt Organization Search tool?

JAWS users will not be able to view determination letters or copies of Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF or 990-T. The JAWS screen reader doesn’t work with these types of documents because they are images (“pictures”) of the actual letters or returns. To obtain one of these documents, you may:

  • Request it directly from the organization,
  • Complete and submit Form 4506-A, Request for Public Inspection or Copy of Exempt or Political Organization IRS Form, or
  • Call TE/GE Customer Account Services at 877-829-5500 to request the document.

What can I use Tax Exempt Organization Search for?

Tax Exempt Organization Search is an on-line search tool that allows users to select a tax-exempt organization and check certain information about its federal tax status and filings. It allows users to check whether an organization: 

  • Is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions 
  • Has filed a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) annual electronic notice 
  • Has had its tax-exempt status automatically revoked because it has not filed its required Form 990-series return for three consecutive years 

In addition to searching for a particular organization, users are able to download a complete list of each of the three types of organizations described in the bullets above.

In addition, users can view images of:

  • Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, and 990-T (for 501(c)(3) organizations only) filed in January 2018 and later. 
  • Favorable determination letters issued by IRS when an organization applies for and meets the requirements for tax-exempt status. (Letters issued January 1, 2014 and later.)

How do I use Tax Exempt Organization Search?

On the Tax Exempt Organizations Search home page, click on the drop-down menu under “Select Database” and choose:

  • “Search All”
  • “Pub 78 Data” 
  • “Auto-revocation List”
  • “Determination Letters”
  • “Form 990-N (e-Postcard) or 
  • Copies of Returns (990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-T)

Then click “Search.” The search results are sortable by name, EIN, state, and country. Tax Exempt Organization Search users may also download the entire lists of organizations eligible to receive deductible contributions, auto-revoked organizations and e-Postcard filers.

Our organization’s tax exemption was auto-revoked. We applied for and received reinstatement of exemption, but the IRS reinstated our tax-exempt status just after the last monthly update of Tax Exempt Organization Search. What should we do if a donor requests proof of our reinstatement before the next update?

To give donors assurance of the organization’s recognition of tax exemption and public charity status between updates, provide the donor with the organization’s recent exemption determination letter, which will show the effective exemption date.

How often is the information on Tax Exempt Organization Search updated?

The information on Tax Exempt Organization Search is updated as follows:

  • Organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions updated monthly
  • Organizations that submitted Forms 990-N (e-Postcard) updated weekly
  • Organizations whose exempt status has been automatically revoked updated weekly
  • Copies of Returns (Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-T) updated monthly
  • Favorable determination letters updated regularly

Can I rely on Tax Exempt Organization Search to find an organization’s foundation classification or whether contributions to an organization are deductible?

Contributors and grantors may rely on either the Tax Exempt Organization Search or the Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract (EO BMF). Both are updated monthly, although not necessarily on the same day. To assist with searches, the IRS publishes the date the information was posted.

More information is found in Search Tips and Revenue Procedure 2011-33, Updated Reliance Rules for Practitioners.

The Form 990-series search results include terms such as “Form 990EO,” “Form 990EOA,” and Form 990R.” What do the extra letters after “Form 990” mean?

The letters following “Form 990” in the search results for Form 990-series returns are part of a naming convention IRS uses when loading and indexing new documents to this database. The letters indicate the type of organization and whether the return is the original or an amended filing. (The letters are not part of the form number.)

  • Form 990EO – 501(c)(3) filer
  • Form 990EOA – 501(c)(3) amended return
  • Form 990O – other than a 501(c)(3) filer
  • Form 990R – additional information received after original filing

Return to Tax Exempt Organization Search home page.