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Nonprofit Law/getting proof of 501c3 status


Hello Harvey!  

I have such a simple question, but can't get ahold of a single person with the IRS to answer it.  We simply need to get documentation proving the 501c3 status of our organization, but I don't know what to do!  It turns out that the folks that ran our office 15 years ago didn't know they needed to save that information, so now that we need it to submit with a grant application in the next couple of days, we don't have it.  Any idea where we can call or email to actually talk to a PERSON?  None of the local phone numbers are actually answerable; they are just a recorded message telling you to go to the website.

Thank you for your assistance!


Good evening, Jennifer.

I suggest that you first look on the IRS website at and, if you have your EIN (Employer Identification Number - or Taxpayer Id number) jus put that into the first blank box and hit search.  Your bank account would be under your EIN.  If you don't have your EIN with you, you can, instead, if yourr organization was always in Montana, use the State drop down menu to choose Montana after putting one word of the name of your organization (the most unique word) in the second blank box ("Name").  If you find something, let me know the information given.  If not, then do the same thing but first click the box "Were automatically revoked" above the line for EIN.  Let me know what you find. After you give me that information I will reply further.

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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