IRS Code 501(c)(3) allows for a scientific organization to be tax-free:

(3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

 

Application must be made on IRS Form 1023-series application.

This organization is required to have formally incorporated before we can apply for tax exemption.

Prior to applying for exemption, the organization will need an IRS-issued Employment Identification Number. This can be accomplished on-line, by telephone, by fax or by mail, requires submission of form SS-4.

The Organization will have 27 months from the end of the month in which it was incorporated to have a completed application submitted to the IRS. The deadline can be extended under certain circumstances, but I think that the sooner we gain tax-exempt status, the better off we will be.

It looks like the fee is $400.

Apparently, the application must be accompanied by the Articles of Incorporation, the Adopted Bylaws and a business plan.