If an organization files its application for recognition as a tax-exempt organization within 27 months of the date of its incorporation or formal organization, then exemption, if granted, will be effective as of the date of its incorporation or formal organization.
If an organization files for exemption after 27 months from the date of incorporation or formal organization, then exemption, if granted, will be effective from the postmarked date of the application for exemption.
Are contributions to an organization that has not received an exemption determination letter deductible (for example, while an application is pending)?
If an organization is exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, charitable contributions to it are generally deductible. To be exempt under section 501(c)(3), most organizations must file Form 1023 by the end of the 27th month after they were created. If an organization does so, charitable contributions to it will be deductible back to the date of formation. The extent to which donors may be assured that their contributions will be deductible in advance, however, will depend on whether the organization has—
Timely filed Form 1023 , Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, but not yet received a letter recognizing its exempt status,
Filed Form 1023 later than the prescribed time, or
A donation to a church or an organization with less than $5,000 in annual gross receipts is deductible by the donor as a charitable contribution whether or not the organization has applied for and received tax-exempt status from the IRS.
Publication 1771, Charitable Contributions – Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements
Publication 526, Charitable Contributions
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide legal or accounting advice, or to address specific situations. Please consult with your legal or tax advisor to supplement and verify what you learn here.