Life Cycle of a Public Charity

For further assistance, the IRS website is a good resource.  The following excerpt was downloaded from the IRS website to help you know what is available from their Life Cycle of a Public Charity webpage. The information documented below is subject to change by the IRS. Therefore, for the most up-to-date version of this information, please go to

www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits

Organizations that meet the requirements of Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) are exempt from federal income tax as charitable organizations. In addition, contributions made to charitable organizations by individuals and corporations are deductible under Code section 170.

During its existence, a public charity has numerous interactions with the IRS – from filing an application for recognition of tax-exempt status, to filing the required annual information returns, to making changes in its mission and purpose. The IRS provides information, explanations, guides, forms and publications on all of these subjects – they are available through this IRS Web site. The illustration below provides an easy-to-use way of linking to the documents most charities will need as they proceed though the phases of their “life cycle.”

The IRS web site includes examples of various documents found in the following sections.


Starting Out

Applying to IRS
Required Filings
Ongoing Compliance
Significant Events