Sandy Deja’s 2012 Update of Prepare Your Own 501(c)(3) Application

In 2010, I blogged about Sandy Deja’s ebook, Prepare Your Own 501(c)(3) Application. Ms. Deja has recently updated her popular guide to tackling the exemption process. While not much has changed with the application itself (something Ms. Deja notes may not be true much longer), much has changed in the nonprofit world in the past few years.

As many readers know, hundreds of thousands of nonprofits have lost their exempt status for failure to file required information returns (Form 990) for three consecutive years. In this most recent update, Ms. Deja offers advice to these organizations regarding how to reinstate their tax-exempt status. The IRS requires that all nonprofits that lose exempt status reapply. In her 2012 update, Ms. Deja breaks down the process for reapplication and offers many insightful tips for organizations whose exempt status was automatically revoked.

Additionally, Ms. Deja has included four new Handbooks in her updated ebook. The first of which is regarding the Next Form 1023 which will not be produced until at least March 2014. While there have been no substantive changes to the Form, there have been a few minor changes. Notice 1382 is to be used in conjunction with the Form 1023 Instructions when preparing the Form and contains information regarding minor changes to the Form and filing process. Additionally, Ms. Deja has included the Paperwork Burden of Form 1023 which gives readers and idea of how many hours it takes to complete Form 1023 – currently about 120. Another new handbook is Replacing your Exemption Letter, which includes instructions on how to get an image of an organization’s favorable determination letter in the event that it is lost. Finally, Recycling A Prior Exemption Application gives instruction on how to use an old exemption application – either your organization’s or an organization that is similar to how you wish to structure yours – to complete a new Form 1023 application.

The task of completing an exemption application is daunting for any organization but is particularly challenging for those who are navigating the process for the first time. In her original Prepare Your Own 501(c)(3) Application e-book and again in her 2012 update, Ms. Deja has provided an invaluable resource to do it your selfers who wish to pursue tax-exempt status on their own.

Ellis Carter is a nonprofit lawyer licensed to practice in Washington and Arizona. Ellis advises tax-exempt clients on federal tax matters nationwide.