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December 6, 2023

IRS revises process for requesting tax-exempt organization documents

The IRS reported in its EO Update (November 27, 2023) that it has updated the process for requesting documents related to tax-exempt organizations' (1) applications for IRS recognition of tax exemption, (2) certain exemption determination letters and (3) other determination letters and applications. In particular, the IRS has revised Form 4506-B, Request for a Copy of Exempt Organization IRS Application or Letter, to clarify what information may be requested using the form, ensure consistency and speed up the time it takes to process these requests.

Form 4506-B can be used, among other reasons, to request a copy of an exempt organization's IRS exemption determination letter issued before 2014. It can also be used to request copies of an organization's application for recognition of tax-exempt status (Forms 1023, 1023-EZ, 1024, 1024-A, etc.) or an affirmation letter affirming the current exempt status of the organization. Form 4506-B is not limited, however, to just Form 1023/1024 applications and related exemption determinations. The new on-form instructions clarify that Form 4506-B can be filed to request applications for group exemption rulings, Form 8940 requests for determinations (e.g., foundation reclassification, advance rulings) and other "publicly disclosable applications and letters."

In the EO Update, the IRS also announced a change to the Form 4506-B filing process. In the past, filers could mail, fax or email Form 4506-B to the IRS. Now, the IRS will only process Forms 4506-B that are electronically submitted via email and include all required information (e.g., correct employer identification number). The IRS will send a letter describing the correct method for resubmitting a Form 4506-B if it rejects an initial Form 4506-B filing. More information on Form 4506-B can be found on the IRS Exempt Organizations website.

The EO Update also explains how the public can obtain exempt organization returns from the IRS:

  • Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS) can be used by the public to search for tax-exempt organization returns available on, including electronically-filed Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-T (for IRC Section 501(c)(3) organizations) and Forms 990-N received in 2017 or later. The forms can be viewed individually and as bulk data downloads. Determination letters issued since January 1, 2014, can also be searched on TEOS.
  • Form 4506-A, Request for a Copy of Exempt or Political Organization IRS Form, can be submitted to the IRS to request copies of various returns, including some that are not available on, including Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-T (for IRC Section 501(c)(3) organizations) and 5227, Split-Interest Trust Information Return. Form 4506-A can be submitted by mail or fax, but not by email. Unlike Form 4506-B, the IRS has not made any recent revisions to Form 4506-A.


The updates to Form 4506-B reiterate the IRS's commitment to using digital technologies and procedures to make taxpayer filings and communications more streamlined and efficient. Specifically, the requirement to submit the revised Form 4506-B via email underscores the IRS's ongoing transition from allowing paper-filed forms to requiring electronically-filed forms. Users of TEOS and Forms 4506-A and 4506-B may provide the IRS with feedback on how they can be improved by submitting comments to: Internal Revenue Service, TE/GE Exempt Organizations, Room 6403, P.O. Box 2508, Cincinnati, OH 45201, Fax: 855-204-6184.



— For more information about EY's Exempt Organization Tax Services group, visit us here.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Exempt Organization Tax Services
   • Stephen Clarke (
   • Morgan Moran (
   • Cal Hoke (

Published by NTD’s Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Andrea Ben-Yosef, legal editor