New Online Tool for Donors Offers Peace of Mind

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By Ken Berry

The IRS has announced that is making it easier for taxpayers and tax return preparers to do their due diligence on tax-exempt organizations. It has launched a new online tool, Exempt Organizations Select Check (EO Select Check), that provides all the important information in one location (IR-2012-34).

Now users can access EO Select Check to find out if a particular charity: 

  • Is a tax-exempt organization that is eligible to receive deductible charitable donations (incorporating data from IRS Pub. 78). You can rely on this list for tax return purposes.
  • Has had its federal tax exemption automatically revoked for failing to file a Form 990-series return or notice for three consecutive years (known as the Auto-Revocation List).
  • Has filed a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) annual electronic notice. (Most small organizations whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less are required to electronically submit Form 990-N, unless they choose instead to file a completed Form 990 or Form 990-EZ.)

EO Select Check also provides improved search functions. For example, you can now look for organizations that are eligible to receive deductible contributions by Employer Identification Number (EIN). Previously, this wasn't a searchable or sortable field in electronic Pub. 78. And, data about organizations eligible to receive deductible contributions will be updated on a monthly basis instead of each quarter.

Furthermore, organizations that have automatically lost their tax exemptions may be searched by EIN, name, city, state, zip code, country, exemption type, and revocation posting date, rather than only by state. EO Select Check also provides new pop-up help text to assist users in understanding the significance of auto-revocation search results, as well as defining and drawing distinctions between revocation dates and revocation posting dates. Finally, you can find tips on how to best utilize the search application.

By using EO Select Check, both tax professionals and their clients can rest assured that charitable donations have been made to IRS-approved organizations. It's one less thing to worry about.

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