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 Code Section 501(c)(3) organizations are required to include. 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.
For those who would like some assistance to create relatively straightforward articles, bylaws and governance policies for tax-exempt entities, we have developed an efficient and affordable flat fee filing option through our online legal service portal. To access our online legal service portal, click on the hotlinks to on this page. Users will need to will need to select a username and password, provide some basic identifying information and agree to the Terms and Conditions.
Once you have registered, you will see a menu of documents and services. Purchase the document you are seeking and you will be guided through a series of questions. There are helpful tips and explanations built into the system to help you make the various choices that are required. You can save your work and leave the portal at any time. You can also call or e-mail us with questions that develop. Once all the questions have been answered, you will be asked whether you are ready to request a review. Once you request a review, your answer file will be released to us. We will review the answers, follow-up with you regarding any questions we have, and create your drafts, generally within 24 hours, and e-mail your drafts to you. If necessary, your purchase entitles you to three follow-up reviews by an attorney within a 30 day period to ensure that your documents meet your needs.
Ellis Carter is a nonprofit lawyer licensed to practice in Washington and Arizona. Ellis advises tax-exempt clients on federal tax matters nationwide.