Tax-Exempt - National Council of Teachers of English


All units (AffiliatesAssembliesTYCA-RegionalsTAWL Groupsmust apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, regardless whether you are a member of the NCTE Tax-Exempt Group or not.

All units must file annually with the IRS. Members of the NCTE Tax-Exempt Group must file by November 15. This chart will help you determine which form you must file:

  • 990-N (E-Postcard) if gross receipts are normally less than or equal to $50,000
  • 990-EZ or 990 if gross receipts are less than $200,00 and total assets are less than $500,00
  • 990 if gross receipts are greater than or equal to $200,000 or total assets are greater than or equal to $500,000

Note: NCTE will exclude units that do not comply with the above from the Group Exemption Letter. Nor will the unit will have “IRS determined” tax-exempt status, unless the unit obtains tax-exempt status on its own.

All units must follow the following requirements due to regulations established by the Internal Revenue Service, Publication 557: Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization.

Requirements to be part of NCTE Tax-Exempt Group

  • All units must be 501(c)(3) organizations and adopt the tax-exempt policies outlined below.
  • 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 February 28.
  • 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.”
  • 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, visit the IRS Instructions for Form SS-4 or the NCTE EIN mock-up or contact NCTE.
  • Note: All units should use the EIN number is the number for your unit’s bank account. No bank account should be 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 #10 on the “Group Exemption Application” and provide an explanation. An explanation includes 1) the date of the determination letter; 2) the IRS office that issued it and/or 3) a photocopy of the letter relating to exemption.
  • Note:  Each unit may decide if they remain under their own exemption or under NCTE’s group exemption number.
  • For first time applicants, each unit must enclose a check for $30 made payable to NCTE and fees form.


This information is required annually after your unit (AffiliatesAssembliesTYCA-RegionalsTAWL Groups) has been accepted as a member of the NCTE Tax-Exempt Group. To continue to be included as part of the group, units must submit the following forms and items to the Affiliate Services Office by February 28 of each year.

Units that fail to meet the annual requirements for maintaining group exemption status will not be included in NCTE’s group exemption letter for the upcoming fiscal year, and 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

It is very important that your organization file with the IRS each year, no matter what, 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.

Annual Requirements

  1. Completed Annual Group Exemption Checklist, including acknowledgement of adoption of policies (outlined below) that ALL 501(c)(3) organizations should have adopted.
  2. Copy of Financial Report if unit filed e-Postcard with IRS.
  3. Copy of tax return if unit filed 990EZ or 990 form with IRS.
  4. Completed Fees Form and a check for $10 made payable to NCTE.
    All except the check can be emailed to