Tax-Exempt Activities

The IRS devotes significant resources to meeting the special needs of tax-exempt organizations, employee retirement benefit plans, and Government entities in complying with tax laws. While these entities are not subject to Federal income tax, they nonetheless represent a significant aspect of tax administration. Although information on the administration, processing, and examination of returns filed by these entities is provided throughout the IRS Data Book, Section 6 focuses on issues related to governance.


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Highlights of the Data

  • In Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, the IRS issued a total of 5,132 determination letters on employee retirement plans. These consisted of 1,404 determination letters for defined benefit plans and 3,728 determination letters for defined contribution plans (Table 23).
  • In FY 2018, the IRS closed 91,981 applications for tax-exempt status. Of those, the IRS approved tax-exempt status for 91.2 percent of the applications (Table 24a).
  • In FY 2018, the IRS recognized more than 1.8 million organizations, including new determinations, as tax-exempt. Almost 1.7 million of these organizations were exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c), with more than 1.3 million qualifying as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) (Table 25).

Index of Data Book Tables

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