The Internal Revenue Service oversees eligibility and compliance for tax-exempt entities and helps keep the public informed on the tax status and filings of these organizations. To aid in this mission, the IRS has released a new research tool to help individuals and businesses gather information on tax-exempt organizations. The new research tool consolidates three former search sites into one, providing a more efficient way to search for a particular organization. The research site will allow an individual to see if an organization is able to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions, if an organization has had its tax-exempt status automatically revoked for not filing Form 990 series returns or notices annually for three consecutive years, and to see if the organization has filed its annual electronic notice, Form 990-N.
The Exempt Organizations Select Check’s data is generally updated the third Monday of each month for automatically revoked organizations and organizations that are eligible to receive deductible contributions. The site is updated weekly for Form 990-N Postcard filings. In addition to being able to search for a particular organization, individuals can download a complete list of all three types of organizations.
The one downfall that was noted in a review of the Exempt Organizations Select Check is that subordinate members recognized as exempt under a group ruling could not be found in Select Check. Users of Select Check need to be mindful that, although these organizations are not identified by IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check, they still might be eligible to receive the tax-deductible contributions. Donors should verify with the organization to ensure that their contributions qualify as charitable contributions. Schneider Downs & Co., Inc. has contacted the IRS regarding this issue.
You can access the Exempt Organizations Select Check through a dedicated web site.
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This advice is not intended or written to be used for, and it cannot be used for, the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties that may be imposed, or for promoting, marketing or recommending to another person, any tax related matter.