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Nonprofit Law/Can an organization change its tax determination


We are currently designated as a 501(c)4 organization. However, that determination was made in 1994, and our overall goals and activities have significantly changed over the years.  We would like to be reclassified as a 501(c)3 as we believe our currently activities align more with a 501(c), and of course we would like to take advantage of donors interested in funding our programs.  What steps are necessary to make this change if the organization owns assets such as property other than completing a new for 1023 or could the reclassification be done without a new 1023? (We have completed a new 1023 and included updated by-laws to submit if needed)
Thanks for your time and assistance to non-profits.

In order to receive donations that are deductible, a nonprofit organization must have articles of organization, (either articles of incorporation, articles of association or a trust document,
depending upon the type of entity) and those articles of organization must have certain clauses in order to be qualified as a 501(c)(3) organization

Therefore, most organizations would need to first amend their articles of incorporation and bylaws and then they would be able to apply for a redetermination of their exemption classification to 501(c)(3) and that would be on IRS Form 1023.

You are welcome

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. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather more information.  

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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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