The Internal Revenue Service unveiled an online tool Monday to provide easier access to public information about tax-exempt organizations.

The new Tax Exempt Organization Search replaces EO Select Check, a tool that’s been available since 2012 but had more limited features. EO Select Check mainly offered information on whether an organization was tax-exempt or not, and whether its status had been revoked, but TEOS provides much more information.

The new tool provides images of newly filed Forms 990 available for the first time. TEOS also includes two other significant improvements. Users can find more kinds of information than previously available through EO Select Check. On top of that, the search process has been simplified, enabling users to search across multiple data files for information with one query.

TEOS also works better than EO Select Check on mobile devices, so users can search for information via smartphone or tablet. They can also see images of an organization’s information returns and IRS determination letters. That includes:

  • Initially, only the 990 series forms filed in January and February 2018 will be available through TEOS, but new filings will be added monthly.
  • Favorable determination letters sent by the IRS when an organization applied for and met the requirements for tax-exempt status. At first, only a limited number of recent determination letters will be available via TEOS, but eventually, determination letters issued since January 2014 will also appear on the system.

TEOS also provides access to all the information that used to be available on EO Select Check. That includes whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, has had its tax-exempt status revoked because it failed to file required forms or notices for three consecutive years and, for a small organization, whether it filed a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) annual electronic notice with the IRS.

“This new tool provides taxpayers an easy way to get information about charitable organizations,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter in a statement. “Tax-exempt organizations play a critical role in our nation, and this will provide greater insight for people considering donations.”

Publicly available data from e-filed Forms 990 will continue to be available in a machine-readable format through Amazon Web Services.

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.