TaON nanoparticles with low surface reduction defect sites were successfully constructed by a simple nitridation approach using Ta2O5·nH2O as a precursor. Large amounts of crystal water in Ta2O5·nH2O are considered as a parclose to prohibit Ta5+ from being reduced in the nitridation process with NH3 gas. Urea was also used in the synthesis, acting as a co-nitridation agent together with NH3 but also as a porogen for creating nanopores in TaON frameworks. The as-prepared TaON catalyst was evaluated by environmental purification of organic pollutants in water, as exemplified here by mineralization of phenol and its chloroderivatives in aqueous phase under visible light irradiation. Results revealed that a lower defect density of TaON, as well as its nanopore structure and smaller particle size, contribute to the promotion in both electron–hole separation and interfacial charge-transfer in materials surface/interface, being the main reasons for the enhanced photocatalytic performance.