Charities and nonprofits Business type

If you have a charity or nonprofit, you may qualify for tax exemption. Tax-exempt status means your organization will not pay tax on certain nonprofit income.

Your organization must apply to get tax-exempt status from us.

Check your account status

Find out if your account with us is active or suspended:

We provide account status information for the current exempt organizations. Account status information is updated monthly.

Apply for or reinstate your tax exemption

There are 2 ways to get tax-exempt status in California:

1. Exemption Application (Form 3500)

  1. Download the form
  2. Determine your exemption type, complete, print, and mail your application
  3. Include $25 by check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to Franchise Tax Board

Limited Liability Companies may become exempt if owned and operated by an exempt nonprofit and have proof of accepted Entity Classification Election (IRS Form 8832).

2. Submission of Exemption Request (Form 3500A)

If you have a federal determination letter:

  1. Download the form (If your status was revoked, you cannot use this form)
  2. Complete, print, and mail your request with your federal determination letter
    Exempt Organizations Unit MS F120
    Franchise Tax Board
    PO Box 1286
    Rancho Cordova CA 95741-1286

What happens after you apply

  1. We’ll review your information to verify if you qualify. It may take up to 4 months to process
  2. If we need more detailed information, we’ll contact you
  3. If approved, you’ll receive a grant letter

Rush request

Nonprofits may qualify for rush processing in limited circumstances.

  1. You can request a rush if you meet 1 of the following:
    • You’re in good standing, want exemption under 23701d (501(c)(3)), and have a pending and verifiable grant
    • You’re suspended and in legal action (court records must be provided)
  2. Call the Exempt Organizations Unit at 916-845-4171 to see if you qualify for rush consideration
  3. If you qualify for rush processing, the call center staff will give you further instructions

Some instructions you may receive:

  1. Complete the Exemption Application (FTB 3500) or Submission of Exemption Request (FTB 3500A)
  2. Pay $25 if using Form 3500
  3. Include an additional:
    • $40 if you are not suspended
    • $56 if you’re suspended
  4. File any missing returns
  5. Pay any outstanding balances
  6. File the Statement of Information with the Secretary of State
  7. If required, file with the Attorney General's Office, Registry of Charitable Trusts