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:

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 Download the form (If your status was revoked, you cannot use this form)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 that qualify for rush processing must submit the request in person.

  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. Complete, print, and bring your application Exemption Application (FTB 3500) or Submission of Exemption Request (FTB 3500A) to:
  3. Include $25 if using Form 3500
  4. Complete the Rush Processing Request Form (FTB 3517). This form is only available at office locations.
  5. Include an additional:
    • $40 if you have not been suspended
    • $56 if you’re suspended
  6. Make your check, money order or cashier’s check payable to Franchise Tax Board.