25.7.6 Cumulative List (Publication 78)

Manual Transmittal

December 06, 2017


(1) This transmits a complete revision for IRM 25.7, Exempt Organizations/Business Master File Handbook (EO/BMF), Section 6, Cumulative List (Publication 78).

Material Changes

(1) No current changes

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 25.7.6 dated 01-01-2017 is superseded.


Tax Exempt and Government Entities employees.

Effective Date


Sean E. O'Reilly
Acting Business Systems Planning Director
TE/GE Government Entities and Shared Services


  1. The Cumulative List of organizations (CL) described in Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC) 170(c), CL, commonly known as Publication 78, is a computer generated listing of names of organizations. These organizations have been determined to be entitled to receive tax deductible contributions by donors, as provided in IRC 170.

  2. The CL provides information and guidance on exempt organizations to both Service personnel and the public. With few exceptions, the CL includes only those organizations that hold a ruling or determination letter that specifically states that contributions to the organization are tax deductible.

  3. The exempt organization (EO) community has become increasingly dependent upon their listings in the CL to prove to potential contributors that contributions to them are deductible. The fact that an organization may hold a favorable determination letter is often not sufficient to satisfy some contributors, especially in those cases where the Service issued an organization’s letter many years ago.

  4. Generally, the CL program has been effective in identifying IRC 170 organizations. However, as with any computer-generated listing, it is only as good as the data extracted. Therefore, it is imperative that the EO entity data contained on the BMF be accurate. Every Service employee who issues a determination or conducts an examination of an exempt organization, is responsible for ensuring that the Master File reflects any actions taken and that any other errors identified on a Master File entity are corrected.

Publication 78 On-Line Procedures

  1. The CL (Publication 78 data) is available in a researchable database on the Internet. As of January 2012, it is one part of the Exempt Organization Select Check Application that also includes the cumulative listing of organizations whose exemption has been revoked, and the database of 990-N filings. This database may be used for researching exempt organizations who have been granted contribution deductibility, and is available to anyone with Internet access.

  2. A user-friendly format allows for a search by the EIN, name, or portions of the name, city, state, or Deductibility Status Code.

  3. The listing is accessible through the "Charities & Non-Profits" section on the IRS website (http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits ), by selecting the EO Select Check topic, and is updated monthly (except for January).

  4. This file is also found in a downloadable format on the website.

Cumulative List Specifications

  1. To be included on the Cumulative List, an organization must have:

    1. a Deductibility Code 1 or 4 (treaty) , and

    2. a Subsection Code of 01, 03, 04, 08, 10, 13, 19, 50, 60 or 70, and

    3. an Affiliation Code of 1, 2, 3, 6 or 8 (selects group centrals and independents but eliminates subordinates), and

    4. a Status Code of 01, 02, or 25 (an active entity), and

    5. a Form 990 Filing Requirement of 1, 2, 6 or 7, or Form 990–PF Filing Requirement of 1 , 2 or 3.

  2. IRC 501(c)(3) (referred to as subsection (c)(3)) entries for subordinates included in group exemptions or Group Return accounts are not included in the CL (Pub 78 data).

  3. Any organization that requests to be listed in the CL and has not been issued a ruling or determination letters, must apply for such a letter to be included in the CL. In the past, several dummy entries for widely known religious, charitable and educational organizations that had not formally applied for ruling or determination letters were added to the CL. This practice is no longer permitted under current CL procedures.

  4. Non-Exempt Charitable Trusts, BMF/Subsection Codes 90, 91 and 92 NECTS, are not included despite the other criteria. These are included on the BMF only for returns processing purposes.

Cumulative List Coding Specifications

  1. Codes for the CL identify each organization listed by type and limitation on deductibility. The codes, with an explanation of each, are as follows:

    Code Type of organization and use Deductibility Limitation Programming
    PC A public charity 50%  
    POF A private operating foundation 50% Foundation Code is 02 or 03 and the Current EO Status Code is not 25
    PF A private foundation 30% (generally) Foundation Code is 04 and the Current EO Status Code is not 25
    GROUP Generally, a central organization holding a group exemption letter, whose subordinate units covered by the group exemption are also eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, even though they are not separately listed. Depends on various factors Affiliation Code 06 or 08
    LODGE A domestic fraternal society, operating under the lodge system, but only if the contribution is to be used exclusively for charitable purposes. 30% Current Subsection Code 08 or 10
    UNKWN A charitable organization whose public charity status has not been determined. Depends on various factors Current Subsection Code is 03 and the Foundation Code is 09
    EO An organization described in IRC 170(c) other than a public charity or private foundation. Depends on various factors Current Subsection Code is 04, 08, 10, 13 or 19 OR Current Subsection Code is 01 and the Activity Codes present are other than 925
    FED An organization to which contributions are deductible if made for the use of a federal governmental unit. 50% Current Subsection Code is 01 and at least one of the Activity Codes is 925
    FORGN A foreign-addressed organization. These are generally organizations formed in the United States that conduct activities in foreign countries. Certain foreign organizations that receive charitable contributions deductible pursuant to treaty are also included, as are organizations created in U.S. possessions Depends on various factors Universal Location Code is 98 and the State is ., indicating a foreign address
    SO A type 1, type 2, or functionally integrated type 3 supporting organization 50% Foundation Code is 21, 22, or 23
    SONFI A non-functionally integrated type 3 supporting organization 50% Foundation Code is 24
    SOUNK A supporting organization, unspecified type 50% Foundation Code is 17

Processing Cumulative List Inquiries

  1. Inquiries regarding omissions, coding errors, etc. should be referred to the Cincinnati Area Office (AO) Customer Service Unit. If a special listing is requested or a systemic problem is suspected, refer to TE/GE HQ (SE:T:BSP:SPP).

  2. Inquiries received at service centers must be forwarded to the Cincinnati AO for resolution and response.

Omissions and Errors

  1. AOs are responsible for correcting the BMF if necessary, and responding to the inquirer. This includes referrals of inquiries other than those described herein.

    1. Omission inquiries should be handled using the unpostable procedures.

    2. For omissions where there is a BMF entity but it fails to meet the CL criteria described in IRM, review the entity data, make corrections if necessary, and reply to the requester.

  2. Copies of ruling or determination letters referred to AOs or Cincinnati by the Ogden Submission Processing Center (OSPC) are reviewed to decide if Form 2363A, Exempt organization BMF Entity Change, should be prepared to add the exempt organization to the file.

  3. Inquiries about CL codes are reviewed and the BMF is corrected, if necessary, to reflect correct deductibility limitation codes. Such corrections may include a change to the BMF Foundation Code, Subsection Code, etc.

  4. Inquiries regarding the alphabetic placement of an organization’s name in the CL should be researched to decide if that placement is correct.

    If ... Then ...
    the name is correctly listed, inform the inquirer that a change to their listing will require that their governing instrument (articles of incorporation, bylaws, etc.) be amended to reflect their correct legal name.
    a legal name is incorrectly placed, prepare Form 2363A with a TC 013 to correct.

Coordination between HQ and AO

  1. AOs are responsible for assisting HQ in those instances where they are unable to decide the validity of a CL omission, inclusion, coding error, etc., through EO/BMF research. This assistance may consist of securing an organization’s administrative file to decide a cause. It may also be necessary to coordinate with other functional areas, e.g., Appeals, Reporting Compliance SE:T:EO, or Regional Counsel, etc.

  2. SE:T:BSP and QAM:MSB:EO provide advice and direction to the continuous CL purification.

  3. Office of Business Systems Planning, Submission Processing Programs, SE:T:BSP:SPP is responsible for—

    1. preparing any necessary documents and initiate any coordination with other Service functions to identify and correct any systemic errors encountered in the CL program, or

    2. to include or delete an organization from the CL where normal BMF processing does not provide for the situation.

CL Name File

  1. A CL Name File at the Martinsburg Computing Center (MCC), accepts input only from SE:T:BSP:SPP. This file contains a generic listing of well-known religious denominations and several organizations listed in the CL under names other than the legal names shown on their ruling or determination letters. This file is to be used for the following reasons:

    1. Dummy Accounts — Those that have never applied for or received a ruling or determination letter.

    2. Special Capitalization — When an organization uses an abbreviation that would not normally be capitalized, e.g., ABC Foundation. The computer would print this name as Abc Foundation.

  2. This supplemental file provides a regularly-updated entity listing for Publication 78. MCC must run this special file monthly.

Multiple Listings

  1. Coordinate Cumulative List matters involving group exemptions with HQ, SE:T:BSP:SPP.

  2. Many organizations are generally known by names other than the legal name under which a ruling or determination letter was issued. Organizations that do business under another name or an acronym, e.g., CARE, may be unknown to potential contributors and Service personnel under their legal names. Therefore, the Cumulative List Name File can be used to establish an entry under its commonly known name and also its legal name. The Service’s policy is to discourage multiple listings in the CL. However, in rare circumstances, an organization may be given one additional listing if requested in writing to SE:T:BSP:SPP. Requests for more than one additional listing will be denied.

Cumulative List Indicator

  1. Prior to 2012, the CL indicator is a code that, if input to an EO entity , would cause that EO entity to appear in the next printed quarterly supplement to the CL, rather than the next complete annual revision extracted at the end of October. This code enabled Service personnel to relist an organization that may have been erroneously omitted, or that successfully contested a revocation of its IRC 170(c) status because of a declaratory judgment suit.

  2. Since January 2012, the cumulative list is updated monthly and is no longer printed, so the Cumulative List Indicator should not be used.