Tax-Exempt Determination Letter | IRS Tool | Rea CPA

Tax-Exempt Determination Letters, Financial Data Now Available Online

Tax-Exempt Determination | IRS Website | Ohio CPA Firm
Tax-exempt determination letters are now available online. To retrieve a copy of your determination letter (or another nonprofit’s determination letter), all you have to do is enter your organization’s name of and click on the “search” button. Really, what could be easier?! Read on to learn more about this new tool!

IRS Launches Tax Exempt Organization Search Tool

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), has recently improved one of their nonprofit web pages in a way that may save you time and money.

This website,, has been known by a few different names in the past. First it was “Publication 78.” Then it was updated to “Select Check EO.” Today it goes by “Tax Exempt Organization Search.” But what it’s called isn’t nearly as important as what it does.

This revamped search tool not only allows you to look-up exempt organizations by name or employer identification number (EIN) – as you have in the past – it now grants users the ability to filter search results by choosing from various available databases.

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Easily Access Tax-Exempt Determination Letters

One new feature that has generated a lot of excitement is that Tax-Exempt Determination Letters issued on or after Jan. 1, 2014, can now be easily accessed online. This is a big deal because your organizations determination letter serves as proof of tax-exempt status, and helps donors know to what extent their donation is tax-deductible. To retrieve a copy of your determination letter (or another nonprofit’s determination letter), all you have to do is enter your organization’s name of and click on the “search” button. Really, what could be easier?!

IRS Nonprofit Search | Ohio CPA Firm
The IRS’ new tax-exempt organization search tool allows users to access a variety of information for registered nonprofits. To get started, simply visit and conduct your search by the organization’s name or employer identification number.

Financial Data Is Only A Click Away

Another new feature you might want to take a look at is the availability of certain filed 990-series forms.  Currently, only forms filed since January of 2018 and later are available through the IRS search.  However, it is certainly worth mentioning. One possible application of this feature is that it makes it very easy for Loan Officers and Grantors to gather pertinent information for grant applications and loan renewal. The fact that the website doesn’t require any special login, release form, or encryption and already excludes any information not open for public inspection and helps save time and protects donor anonymity. Accessible forms include:

  • 990-EZ,
  • 990,
  • and for 501(C)(3) organizations, also forms 990-T & 990-PF.

Aliases Are Not Allowed

If you’re poking around on the site and are having trouble finding your nonprofit, it could be because you haven’t been searching your organizations legal names. Doing Business as (DBA) names, are not applicable. Additionally, certain eligible donees such as churches, organizations that have a group rulings, and certain governmental organizations may not be included in the results either. If you don’t believe the organization you’re searching for falls into one of those categories, try an old search feature entitled Master List which can be downloaded by state or region as an alternative.  If you use this feature, be sure to also check out the handy information sheet which explains the classifications and codes used in the file. Both can be found at

Did You Miss The Cutoff?

Lastly, if you missed the cutoff dates that were noted above and need to request either a copy of your Tax-Exempt Determination Letter or a filed 990-series form, you’ll have to rely on one of the traditional methods, which may include the need to file Form 4506-A. Unfortunately, don’t be surprised to see delays and a processing fees accompany the form. More guidance can be found at and the form and its instructions can also be found at

If you need help accessing your nonprofit’s determination letter or financial information, or you need help completing filing your next 990, give me a call! Our team of nonprofit specialists are happy to help.

By Katie Brown, CPA (Zanesville office)

You might also like these great resources for additional nonprofit insight:

Care, Compliance, Loyalty & Financial Accountability

Getting To Know The ‘Business End’ Of Charitable Donations

Are You Using Facebook To Help With Fundraising?