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501(c)(3) Filings



Simply forming a non-profit corporation does not automatically qualify you for federal and state tax exemption. However, only an officially recognized non-profit corporation can apply for federal and state tax exemption. This application is often referred to as the 501(c)(3) application (Form 1023) since this is the IRS code section most commonly applicable to non-profits (Charitable, Educational, Religious, Scientific, Cultural/Literary, Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals). There are more than 20 code sections for non-profit qualification, as indicated by the IRS CHART BELOW.


  • Create and file your organization according to New York State Law, identifying the appropriate federal tax classification

  • Apply for Employer Identification Number with the IRS 

Apply with the IRS for Exemption:  Acquire, complete, and submit the proper application forms, include a certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, a copy of the Minutes and By-Laws, and any related financial information required.


BE AWARE of Annual Required Filings:  Annual exempt organization returns, charities registration forms and annual reports, unrelated business income tax filings, and other returns and reports that an organization may have to file. Check with your financial advisor or accountant. It is important to comply with all requirements to avoid jeopardizing your tax exempt status, as well as your active status with New York State. 



IRS CODE Reference Chart

1986 CodeDescription of OrganizationGeneral nature of activitiesApplication Form No.Annual return required to be filedContributions allowable
501(c)(1) Corporations Organized Under Act of Congress (including Federal Credit Unions) Instrumentalities of the United States No Form None Yes, if made for exclusively public purposes
501(c)(2) Title Holding Corporation For Exempt Organization Holding title to property of an exempt organization 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(3) Religious. Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary. Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations Activities of nature implied by description of class of organization 1023 9901 or 990EZ8, or 990-PF Yes, generally2,3
501(c)(4) Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees Promotion of community welfare; charitable, educational or recreational 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 No, generally2,3
501(c)(5) Labor, Agricultural, and Horticultural Organizations Educational or instructive, the purpose being to improve conditions of work, and to improve products and efficiency 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(6) Business Leagues, Changers of Commerce, Real Estate Boards, Etc. Improvement of business conditions of one or more lines of business 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(7) Social and Recreation Clubs Pleasure, recreation, social activities 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(8) Fraternal Beneficiary Societies and Associations Lodge providing for payment of life, sickness, accident, or other benefits to members 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 Yes, if for certain Sec. 501(c)(3) purposes
501(c)(9) Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Associations Providing for payment of life, sickness, accident, or other benefits to members 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(10) Domestic Fraternal Societies and Associations Lodge devoting its net earnings to charitable, fraternal, and other specified purposes. No life, sickness, or accident benefits to members 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 Yes, if for certain Sec. 501(c)(3) purposes
501(c)(11) Teachers’ Retirement Fund Associations Teachers’ association for payment of retirement benefits No Form6 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(12) Benevolent Life Insurance Associations, Mutual Ditch or Irrigation Companies, Mutual or Cooperative Telephone Companies, Etc. Activities of a mutually beneficial nature similar to those implied by the description of class of organization 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(13) Cemetery Companies Burials and incidental activities 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 Yes, generally
501(c)(14) State Chartered Credit Unions, Mutual Reserve Funds Loans to members No Form6 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(15) Mutual Insurance Companies or Associations Providing insurance to members substantially at cost 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(16) Cooperative Organization to Finance Crop Operations Financing crop operations in conjunction with activities of a marketing or purchasing association No Form6 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(17) Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Trusts Provides for payment of supplemental unemployment compensation benefit 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(18) Employee Funded Pension Trust (created before June 25, 1959) Payment of benefits under a pension plan funded by employees No Form6 9901 or 990EZ8 No2
501(c)(19) Post or Organization of Past or Present Members of the Armed Forces Activities implied by nature of organization 1024 9901 or 990EZ8 No, generally7
501(c)(21) Black Lung Benefit Trusts Funded by coal mine operators to satisfy their liability for disability or death due to black lung diseases No Form6 990-BL No4
501(c)(22) Withdrawal Liability Payment Fund To provide funds to meet the liability of employers withdrawing from a multi-employer pension fund No Form6 9901 or 990EZ8 No5
501(c)(23) Veterans Organization (created before 1880) To provide insurance and other benefits to veterans No Form6 9901 or 990EZ8 No, generally7
501(c)(25) Title Holding Corporation or Trusts with Multiple Parents Holding title and paying over income from property to 35 or fewer parents or beneficiaries 1024 990 or 990EZ No
501(c)(26) State-Sponsored Organization Providing Health Coverage for High-Risk Individuals Provides health care coverage to high-risk individuals No Form6 9901 or 990EZ8 No
501(c)(27) State-Sponsored Workers’ Compensation Reinsurance Organization Reimburses members for losses under workers’ compensation acts No Form6 9901 or 990EZ8 No
501(d) Religious and Apostolic Associations Regular business activities. Communal religious community No Form 10659 No2
501(e) Cooperative Hospital Service Organizations Performs cooperative services for hospitals 1023 9901 or 990EZ8 Yes
501(f) Cooperative Service Organizations of Operating Educational Organizations Performs collective investment services for educational organizations 1023 9901 or 990EZ8 Yes
501(k) Child Care Organization Provides care for children 1023 9901 or 990EZ8 Yes
501(n) Charitable Risk Pools Pools certain insurance risks of 501(c)(3) 1023 9901 or 990EZ8 Yes
521(a) Farmers; Cooperative Associations Cooperative marketing and purchasing for agricultural producers 1028 990-C No
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