IRS Publication 557 (Rev. February 2021), Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization, provides a legal overview of the Nonprofit Application, Approval and Appeals Procedures; Filing Requirements and Required Disclosures; an Overview of 501(c)3 and other 501(c) organizations; and How to Get Tax Help. Please check the IRS website for the most recent updates.

Nonprofit Organization Reference Chart

Section of 1986 Code Description of Organization General Nature of Activities
501(c)1 Corporations Organized under Act of Congress (including Federal Credit Unions) Instrumentalities of the United States
501(c)2 Title Holding Corporation for Exempt Organization Holding title to property of an exempt organization and distributing net income to it
501(c)3 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. See description of organization
501(c)4 Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations and Local Associations of Employees Promotion of community welfare; charitable, education, or recreational
501(c)5 Labor, Agricultural, and Horticultural Organizations Educational or instructive, the purpose being to improve conditions of work, and to improve products and/or efficiency
501(c)6 Business Leagues, Chambers of Commerce, Real Estate Boards, etc Improvement of business conditions of one or more lines of business
501(c)7 Social and Recreational Clubs Pleasure, recreation, social activities
501(c)8 Fraternal Beneficiary Societies and Associations Proving for payment of life, sickness, accident or other benefits to members within a lodge system
501(c)9 Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Associations Employee association providing for payment of life, sickness, accident, or other benefits to members
501(c)10 Domestic Fraternal Societies and Associations Earnings devoted to charitable, fraternal and other specified purposes within a domestic lodge system; no benefits to members
501(c)11 Teachers’ Retirement Fund Associations Teachers’ association for payment of retirement benefits
501(c)12 Benevolent Life Insurance Associations, Mutual Ditch or Irrigation Companies, Mutual or Cooperative Telephone Companies, and Like Organizations Activities of a mutual or cooperative nature
501(c)13 Cemetery Companies Burials and incidental activities
501(c)14 State-Chartered Credit Unions, Mutual Reserve Funds Loans to members
501(c)15 Mutual Insurance Companies or Associations Providing insurance to members substantially at cost
501(c)16 Cooperative Organizations to Finance Crop Operation Financing crop operations in conjunction with activities of a marketing or purchasing association
501(c)17 Supplemental Unemployment Benefits Trusts Provides for payment of supplemental unemployment compensation benefits
501(c)18 Employee Funded Pension Trust (created before June 25, 1959) Payment of benefits under a pension plan funded by employees
501(c)19 Post or Organization of Past or Present Members of the Armed Forces Activities implied by nature of organization
501(c)21 Black Lung Benefit Trusts Funded by coal mine operations to satisfy their liability for disability or death due to black lung diseases
501(c)22 Withdrawal Liability Payment Fund To provide funds to meet the liability of employers withdrawing from a multi-employer pension fund
501(c)23 Veterans’ Organization (created before 1980) To provide insurance and other benefit to veterans
501(c)25 Title Holding Corporations or Trusts with Multiple Parent Companies Holding title and paying over income from real property to 35 or fewer parents or beneficiaries
501(c)26 State-Sponsored Organization providing Health Coverage for High-Risk Individuals Provides health care coverage to high-risk individuals
501(c)27 State-Sponsored Workers’ Compensation Reinsurance Organization Reimburses members for losses under workers’ compensation acts
501(c)28 National Railroad retirement Investment Trust Manages and invests the assets of the railroad Retirement Account
501(c)29 CO-OP Health Insurance Issuers A qualified health insurance issuer which has received a loan or grant under the CO-OP program
501(d) Religious and Apostolic Associations Regular business activities; Communal religious community
501(e) Cooperative Hospital Services Organizations Performs cooperative service for hospitals
501(f) Cooperative Service Organization of Operating Educational Organization Performs collective investment service for educational organizations
501(k) Child Care Organizations Provides care for children
501(n) Charitable Risk Pools Pools certain insurance risks of sec. 501(c) organizations
501(q) Credit Counseling Organization Credit counseling services
521(a) Farmers’ Cooperative Associations Cooperative marketing an purchasing for agricultural procedures
527 Political Organizations A part, committee, fund, association, etc., that directly or indirectly accepts contributions or makes expenditures for political campaigns


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