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Applying for Tax-Exempt Status Through NCTE

NOTE: Whether your organization is a member of the NCTE Tax-Exempt Group or not, it is very important that your organization file with the IRS each year or you will lose your tax-exempt status and be refused membership in the NCTE Group. All nonprofit organizations must file annually with the IRS even if they haven't had to file in the past.  For members of the NCTE Tax-Exempt Group, the filing deadline is November 15.  If your organization has filed using the 990 or 990EZ form,  check the link below to see if you are eligible to file the 990-N (e-postcard) because the ceiling for filing an e-postcard has been raised to $50,000.  If your organization has not filed in the past because your gross annual receipts were very small and didn't warrant filing, you now MUST file using the e-postcard.  Information about filing along with links to forms and instructions is available on the IRS website for Charities and Non-profits.

In order to follow the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service, the National Council of Teachers of English must require all units (Affiliates, Assemblies, TYCA-Regionals, TAWL Groups) to follow the requirements described below for applying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

If these requirements are not met by the unit, NCTE will have to exclude the unit from the Group Exemption Letter and the unit will not have "IRS determined" tax-exempt status, unless the unit obtains tax-exempt status on its own.

These requirements must be followed due to regulations established by the Internal Revenue Service, Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization


  • Policies that ALL 501(c)(3) organizations must adopt.
  • All units must be affiliated with NCTE and subject to NCTE's general
    supervision or control.
  • All units must qualify as an organization described in the Internal Revenue
    Code 501(c)(3) and cannot be private foundations.
  • All units must be on the same accounting period (fiscal year) as NCTE: July 1--June 30.
  • All units must complete the "Group Exemption Application" form and submit the form to NCTE by January 30.
  • All units must amend their constitutions to include "Requirements to be exempt as an organization described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code." Some units' constitutional purposes and membership statements will need amending as well.
  • All units must submit a copy of their most recent amended Constitution and Bylaws at the time of application.
  • Units whose gross annual receipts are normally less than $50,000 OR organizations that are new must submit a Financial Statement for the most recent fiscal year; others must submit a copy of the tax return for that year.
  • If the unit does not have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), IRS form
    SS-4, "Application for Employment Identification Number" must be submitted to NCTE (not the IRS) with the application. For instructions on how to complete form SS-4, click here or contact NCTE. Note: The EIN number is the number that should be used for your unit's bank account---you should not have a bank account registered under an individual's social security number because a bank account registered to an individual is considered personal and reportable income for that individual.
  • If the unit has applied and/or obtained an exemption from federal income tax and the unit decides to authorize NCTE to include the unit in NCTE's Group Exemption Letter, the unit must answer "yes" to question 9 on the "Group Exemption Application" and provide an explanation. An explanation includes the date of the determination letter relating to exemption and the IRS office that issued it and/or a photocopy of the letter relating to exemption. Note:  It is the decision of the unit to remain under their own exemption or to be considered exempt under NCTE's group exemption number.
  • A check for $30 made payable to NCTE and fees form must be enclosed
    with a first time application



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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts