Does a nonprofit volunteer fire company need file for a 501(c) status of some kind to receive tax deductible contributions?
Volunteer fire companies generally obtain recognition of exemption either as charities under Section 501(c)(3) of the Tax Code or as social welfare organizations under Section 501(c)(4). Ordinarily, only contributions to 501(c)(3) organizations would be deductible and contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations would not be deductible. But the IRS has made an exception in the case of nonprofit volunteer fire companies. It has ruled that contributions to nonprofit volunteer fire companies are deemed to be for the use of a political subdivision of a state for exclusively public purposes and are therefore fully deductible even when made to a (c)(4) organization. (Rev. Rul. 71-47.)