Regardless of the methods by which an individual contributes to charity (e.g., direct gifts, donor advised funds), selection of the organizations deserving support is a daunting task. The choices are primarily influenced by personal beliefs and preferences, but the charity selection links below may provide some guidance.
If an individual in the U.S. is itemizing their income tax deductions, some charitable contributions are eligible to be deducted. There are regulations regarding the form, valuation, documentation, and recipient of the contribution. Not all tax exempt organizations can receive tax deductible contributions. (For example, political campaigns are generally tax exempt, but contributions to them are not tax deductible.)
Information about tax-exempt organizations, including those eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable organizations, can be done online by using the IRS's Tax Exempt Organization Search (formerly Select Check). You may search for:
- Organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions (Pub 78 data).
- Users may rely on this list in determining deductibility of their contributions. (Users may also download a complete list.) (Data posting date: 07-09-2018)
- Be aware of the following when searching for organizations that can receive tax-deductible contributions:
- Certain eligible donees (i.e., churches, group ruling subordinates, and governmental units) may not be listed. See Other Eligible Donees for more information.
- “Doing business as” (also known as DBA) names of organizations are not listed. See Search Tips for additional guidance.
- Automatically revoked organizations
- By law, tax-exempt status is revoked when an organization does not file required Form 990-series returns or notices annually for three consecutive years. The automatic revocation date listed for each organization is historical; it reflects an organization's effective date of automatic revocation, but not necessarily its current tax-exempt status. The organization may have applied to the IRS for reinstatement of exemption and been recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt after its effective date of automatic revocation. (Users may also download a complete list.) (Data posting date: 07-09-2018)
- IRS determination letters dated on or after January 1, 2014
- IRS issues a determination letter recognizing an organization as tax-exempt under the sub-section for which it applied. An organization must apply and pay a user fee to receive a determination letter. Note: The May 2018 release of Tax Exempt Organization Search contains a limited number of determination letters. The IRS is in the process of adding letters and expects to have all determination letters issued since January 2014 available soon. (Data posting date: 07-11-2018)
- Form 990-series returns
- Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF and 990-T (990-T returns for 501(c)(3) organizations only). Initially, the data includes Form 990-series returns filed in January and February 2018. The IRS will add future Form 990-series filed returns monthly. (Users may also download a complete list.)
- Organizations that have filed a Form 990-N (e-Postcard)
- Form 990-N (e-Postcard) is an annual electronic notice most small tax-exempt organizations (annual gross receipts normally $50,000 or less) are eligible to file instead of Form 990 or Form 990-EZ. (Users may also download a complete list.) Data posting date: 07-24-2018