How to Verify a Tax-Exempt Organization With the IRS

A tax-exempt organization, otherwise known as a 501(c) in the United States, is a nonprofit corporation or association that is exempt from federal income taxes. Only tax-exempt organizations approved by the Internal Revenue Service are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. It is, therefore, important to verify the tax-exempt status of an organization prior to making a tax-deductible donation. The IRS provides an online tool that allows you to verify an organization's tax-exempt status.

Open the web browser on your computer and go to the online version of IRS Publication 78 (see Resources).

Enter the organization's name you want to verify and the city, state and country where the organization is located.

Click the "Search" button. A list of organizations that match your search query will appear. Verify that the organization does, in fact, have IRS tax-exempt status.


  • Alternatively, you can download the entire electronic version of Publication 78 that lists every tax-exempt organization recognized by the IRS. This document is also available at many libraries.