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Nonprofit Law/NFP Disclosure Requirements


I am told that IRS requires public disclosure of NFP Bylaws IF the Bylaws are germane to the organization's operations (how they are not is beyond me)?  Is this true?  If so, do you have a reference?

If a nonprofit has received IRS exemption determination or files
annual returns (Form 990) with the IRS it has an obligation to
provide anyone with certain copies. See FAQs About the Exempt
Organization Public Disclosure Requirements

The exempt organization is required, upon request to provide copies
of the exemption application that it filed with the IRS along with
supporting documents required with those applications, which
includes articles of incorporation and bylaws as they existed at
the time the exemption application was filed with the IRS.

Other than those bylaws that were filed with the exemption application, the IRS does not inform exempt organizations that they need to disclose other, amended, bylaws.  Also the organization does not need to supply the bylaws in response to a document request unless the requester is asking for a copy of the exemption application along with supporting application.

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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