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Nonprofit Law/State vs. Federal status


I have received a solicitation for a donation from a non for profit organization. According to the website for the organization, contributions are tax deductible. This group has definitely registered as nonprofit with our state (Oklahoma) but is not listed on the IRS website as an exempt organization.  Is the claim that my contribution is tax deductible fraudulent?

 Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations described in
Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, is a list of
organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable
contributions. This online version is offered to help you conduct
a more efficient search of these organizations.

When the application for exemption is approved, then the
organization is listed in IRS Publication 78.

From the IRS:
"Some entities eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions may not be listed in Exempt Organizations Select Check (Pub. 78 data)." The list below on that page describes some of the organizations. If that Oklahoma organization is not in any of those categories, then their statement is either fraudulent or a material misrepresentation.

You did not ask, but even if the organization is in one of those classes of organizations that does not need to be listed in Publication 78, donations to them may not be accepted by the IRS.
On page 7 of
"Advance assurance of deductibility is only available to an
organization that applies for and receives recognition of exempt
status from the Service and that is listed in Publication No.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

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Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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