Frequently Asked Questions


For Nonprofits

NCCS is a research center and open data provider for the nonprofit sector. We helped design the National Taxonomy for Exempt Entities (NTEE) system to improve sector governance and data quality. We do NOT, however, issue new NTEE codes. The IRS assigns NTEE codes during the application process for tax-exempt status via Forms 1023 and 1023-EZ.

We have provided some resources below to help you select the correct NTEE category. After reviewing the code catalog, if you are unsure of the correct NTEE category feel free to reach out with questions. Please note, though, that we have limited capacity to provide guidance to individual nonprofits so the response time may be slow.

For most cases the NTEE code book provided below should be fairly self-explanatory.

How do I select an NTEE code for my organization?

If you are in the process of filing for tax-exempt status and you need to select your NTEE category you will find the following resources helpful:

Note that if your primary purpose is one of the following activities, then you will select an NTEE major group (A=arts, B=education, E=health, etc.) but you will use the following 2-digit codes:

Activity NTEE 2-digit Code
Alliance/Advocacy Organizations _01
Management and Technical Assistance _02
Professional Societies/Associations _03
Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis _05
Monetary Support - Single Organization _11
Monetary Support - Multiple Organizations _12
Nonmonetary Support Not Elsewhere Classified (N.E.C.) _19

For example, if your nonprofit is a professional society for high school teachers then you would select NTEE category B (education), but since it is a professional society the correct NTEE code would be B03. The correct code is NOT B25, even though that is the code for Secondary and High Schools, since the primary purpose of the organization is as a professional society within secondary education and not a school itself.

Similary, if you are a booster program raising money for sports in a specific nonprofit high school or nonprofit sports league your code would be B11 (single organization support within education) or N11 (single organization support for a specific nonprofit sports facility, league, or club). If you are raising money to promote the sport of pickle ball broadly, not fundraising for a specific nonprofit, then your mission would fall under support for a cause: N12 (multiple organization monetary support in group N: Recreation and Sports).

How can I find my current NTEE code?

The IRS issues and maintains the official database of NTEE codes that have been assigned to nonprofits. You can look up your official NTEE code in the IRS 990 Business Master File.

You may find ProPublica's Nonprofit Explorer useful if you are searching for information on individual organizations or looking for completed 990 forms:

How can I change my current code?

To modify or obtain an NTEE code, an organization should send a written request to the IRS Correspondence Unit with the relevant facts, including the Code currently assigned, if any, and the requested Code, as well as who selected the currently assigned Code initially, if known.

The Correspondence Unit will refer to the IRS Exempt Organizations Divisions, if necessary, and will notify the organization if a form or user fee is required to make the requested change. The written request must be sent or faxed to:

Internal Revenue Service  
Attn: Correspondence Unit  
P.O. Box 2508, Room 6403  
Cincinnati, Ohio 45201  
Fax: (855) 204-6184

Express and Overnight Delivery:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: Correspondence Unit
500 Main Street, Room 6403
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 

More details can be foundin IRS Pub 557