The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognition of Charitable Organizations

Charitable organizations in the U.S. are recognized by the Internal Revenue Code. They are contained in Section 501(c) of the code. Many of us are very familiar with the 501(c)(3) designation among many categories included in the code. In IRS Publication 557, 501(c)(3) is defined as Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animal Organizations.

Generally they are non-profit associations or corporations and are tax-exempt unless they have unrelated business income which is subject to income tax.

The definition of a 501(c)(3) is clearly stated in the tax code. Anyone donating to any of these causes can get a tax deduction depend on their tax status. If a donor wants to know whether the intended charity is listed under the code, donor can review IRS Publication 78.

In order to obtain the status under the IRS code, an organization seeking the tax exempt status must submit Form 1023 along with the required fee to the IRS.

Before you make a charitable donation, check to see whether they are recognized by the IRS and make sure to obtain a receipt for your donation.