Derived from “IRS Publication 557: Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization (1997)”
Note: This table may not include every type of organization that qualifies for some form of federal tax-exemption. It should not be considered legal advice or otherwise used to determine matters of law, and is provided for educational purposes only.
|Section of 1986 Tax Code||Description of organization||General nature of activities||Application Form||Annual return required to be filed||Contributions 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, 990EZ8, or 990-PF||Yes, generally|
|All 501(c)(3) organizations are further categorized as one of five types under IRC 509(a):|
|Private foundations||All 501(c)(3) organizations that don’t qualify as public charities. Some private foundations are additionally subclassified as private operating foundations or private non-operating foundations, which receive some of the advantages of public charities.|
|Public charities||509(a)(1)||Publicly-supported charities.|
|509(a)(2)||Exempt purpose activity-supported charities.|
|509(a)(3)||Supporting organizations for 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) charities.|
|509(a)(4)||Public safety charities.|
|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, generally 2,3|
|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, Chambers 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 Organizations 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 benefits||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)(20)||Group Legal Services Plan Organizations||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|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||990 or 990EZ8||No5|
|501(c)(23)||Veterans Organization (created before 1880)||To provide insurance and other benefits to veterans||No Form6||990 or 990EZ8||No, generally7|
|501(c)(25)||Title Holding Corporations 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
|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||990 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|
1 For exceptions to the filing requirement, see Chapter 2 and the Form instructions.
2 An organization exempt under a Subsection of Code section 501 other than (c)(3), may establish a charitable fund, contributions to which are deductible. Such a fund must itself meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3) and the related notice requirements of section 508(a).
3 Contributions to volunteer fire companies and similar organizations are deductible, but only if made for exclusively public purposes.
4 Deductible as a business expense to the extent allowed by Code section 192.
5 Deductible as a business expense to the extent allowed by Code section 194A.
6 Application is by letter to the address shown on Form 8718. A copy of the organizing document should be attached and the letter should be signed by an officer.
7 Contributions to these organizations are deductible only if 90% or more of the organization’s members are war veterans.
8 For limits on the use of Form 990EZ, see Chapter 2 and the general instructions for Form 990EZ (or Form 990).
9 Although the organization files a partnership return, all distributions are deemed dividends. The members are not entitled to ˜˜pass-through” treatment of the organization’s income or expenses.