Does the EIN become the 501c3 number?

Do you get a new number when your nonprofit becomes a 501c3?


Does the EIN become the 501c3 number, meaning are they the same number once the group obtains the 501c3 status?

Also, as a Wisconsin unincorporated nonprofit association, are we required to become a 501c3 or c4?

If not, are we required to file anything with the IRS?
-Becky in WI


The IRS does not issue a new identification number when an organization receives tax exempt status. There is no “tax exempt number.” Organizations use the same EIN they had before receiving tax exempt status.

No organization is “required” to be a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4), but if your organization is not tax exempt under one of the 501(c) categories, then you owe taxes on your profits.

All tax exempt organizations are required to file an annual 990 (or 990EZ or 990N) annually with the IRS to maintain your tax exempt status.

This  FAQ page on the Form 990-N may be helpful.

And here’s a video I just made explaining the annual reporting to the IRS:

I hope that helps.

Carol Topp, CPA



  1. I have a ein number for my non profit business does that make me a legit non profit

  2. No. Getting an EIN does NOT make you a legitimate nonprofit.

    To be a legitimate nonprofit, you must have a board and bylaws that explain your purpose, structure, board makeup, etc.
    Each state defines what the board structure needs to be, but typically it is a minimum of 3 people with officers (President, Secretary and Treasurer).

    You can read what your state requires to be a legitimate nonprofit by searching on “YOUR STATE start a nonprofit”
    or visit:

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