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Types of Nonprofit Organizations 

While section 501(c)(3) is the most common federal tax exemption for nonprofits, there are other federal tax exemptions that an organization can seek. Other types of tax-exempt organizations that may qualify include: social welfare groups, social clubs, employee benefits associations, veterans organizations, etc. The following is a list and description of the different types of tax-exempt organizations recognized by the IRS:

  • 501(c)(1) Corporations Organized Under Act of Congress (including Federal Credit Unions);
  • 501(c)(2) Title Holding Corporations for Exempt Organization;
  • 501(c)(11) Teachers’ Retirement Fund Associations;
  • 501(c)(12) Benevolent Life Insurance Associations, Mutual Ditch or Irrigation Companies, Mutual or Cooperative Telephone Companies, or Like Organizations (if 85 percent or more of the organization’s income consists of amounts collected from members for the sole purpose of meeting losses and expenses);
  • 501(c)(13) Cemetery Companies (owned and operated exclusively for the benefit of their members or which are not operated for profit);
  • 501(c)(14) State Chartered Credit Unions, Mutual Reserve Funds;
  • 501(c)(15) Mutual Insurance Companies or Associations;
  • 501(c)(16) Cooperative Organizations to Finance Crop Operations;
  • 501(c)(18) Employee Funded Pension Trusts (created before June 25, 1959);
  • 501(c)(21) Black Lung Benefit Trusts;
  • 501(c)(22) Withdrawal Liability Payment Funds;
  • 501(c)(25) Title Holding Corporations or Trusts with Multiple Parents;
  • 501(c)(26) State-Sponsored High-Risk Health Coverage Organizations;
  • 501(c)(27) State-Sponsored Worker’s Compensation Reinsurance Organizations;
  • 501(d) Religious and Apostolic Associations;
  • 501(e) Cooperative Hospital Service Organizations;
  • 501(f) Cooperative Service Organizations of Operating Educational Organizations;
  • 501(k) Child Care Organizations; and
  • 521(a) Farmers’ Cooperative Associations’

Each respective organization group has its own requirements to seek qualification as a tax-exempt organization. They each also have their particular annual filing requirements. It is important to understand and implement these formalities to organize and run a tax-exempt organization.

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