The Arizona Corporation Commission (“ACC”) has recently changed its website and its online corporate forms to make them more user friendly. As part of these changes, the ACC has revamped its forms including its form Articles of Incorporation. The ACC’s nonprofit articles of incorporation forms no longer include options to check the required language for tax-exempt nonprofits. The old forms were designed with options to check if you wanted to include the tax-exemption language required to obtain exemption under Code Section 501(c)(3). The changes were made in recognition of the fact that there are over 27 different classes of tax-exemption under Code Section 501(c); therefore, the tax provisions led many self-preparers to commit malpractice on themselves.
We applaud the ACC’s sensitivity to nonprofit and tax-exempt issues and we suspect these changes will lead to fewer filings with inappropriate tax provisions. However, the downside is that the free ACC forms are no longer appropriate for nonprofits who wish to qualify for tax-exempt status which make up the vast majority of nonprofits.
Ellis Carter is a nonprofit lawyer licensed to practice in Washington and Arizona. Ellis advises tax-exempt clients on federal tax matters nationwide.