IRS Launches New Tax Exempt Organization Search

The IRS this week launched its new online Tax Exempt Organization Search tool—TEOS for short—which replaces the EO Select Check system that launched in 2012. In addition to containing all of the information in EO Select Check regarding an organization’s exempt status, TEOS also makes images of an exempt organization’s Form 990s available for the first time on website. The new TEOS system also contains several improvements over the EO Select Check system including:

  • More types of information will be available on TEOS;
  • The search process has been simplified so that a single search will produce results across multiple data files of different information;
  • Favorable determination letters will be available (initially only a limited number will be available, but eventually all those issued from 2014 forward will be available);
  • TEOS will be mobile friendly so that users may use a phone or tablet to perform searches; and
  • TEOS will also state whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions and whether the organization has had an automatic revocation (ie lost its exempt status due to failure to file the organization’s applicable Form 990 for three consecutive years).

Most data files will be updated in the TEOS system weekly (eg automatic revocations) or monthly (eg copies of returns). TEOS is expected primarily to be a research and evaluation tool for donors. In announcing the TEOS launch, acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter stated that the additional information available through the new TEOS system “will provide greater insight for people considering donations.”

The IRS reminds exempt organizations in News Release 2018-117 not to include personal information of donors on their Form 990 as they are open to public disclosure and will now be published in the TEOS system, and that disclosure of social security numbers can lead to identity theft.

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