IRS 501(c)(3) Requirements

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF® | Reviewed by Editorial Team

Updated on December 14, 2022

IRS Requirements for 501(c)(3)

The IRS has numerous considerations and criteria that 501(c)(3) organizations must adhere to, but they have a few basic requirements:

  • The organization must be not-for-profit
  • At least one third of the organization's income must come from public donations
  • The organization must not engage in lobbying or political activity

IRS 501(c)(3) Requirements FAQs

What is a 501(c)(3) organization?

A 501(c)(3) organization is a non-profit organization with tax exempt status that is dedicated to the general well-being of society.

What Are IRS 501(c)(3) Requirements?

To maintain 501(c)(3) status, the IRS requires at least one third of the income come from public donations, regualr payment of dues, and an avoidance of political activity.

Is a 501(c)(3) organization tax exempt?

A 501(c)(3) organization is tax exempt so long as it remains true to its stated mission and remains compliant with the IRS.

What does 501(c)(3) mean?

501(c)(3) is the internal revenue code (IRC) section for organizations with tax exempt status. 501(c)(3) falls under internal revenue code 501(c).

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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