Today, the Internal Revenue Service released the new streamlined application for exemption – known as Form 1023-EZ. The streamlined application for exemption is designed to reduce processing delays and help small charities apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status more easily.
The new Form 1023-EZ is available today on IRS.gov. The final version is three pages long compared with the standard 26-page Form 1023. Most small organizations, defined as those with gross receipts of $50,000 or less and assets of $250,000 or less, will qualify to use the new streamlined form.
The IRS introduced the streamlined application for exemption to speed the approval process for smaller groups and free up resources to review applications from larger, more complex organizations while reducing the application backlog. Currently, the IRS has more than 60,000 501(c)(3) applications in its backlog, with many of them pending for more than nine months.
The IRS revised the 1023-EZ in response to widespread criticism from state regulators and those working with charitable groups. The revisions include reducing the filing threshold from $200,000 in gross receipts to $50,000 in gross receipts.
The IRS has stated that by reducing the time required to process applications, they will be able to devote more resources to audits and examinations to ensure charities are actually doing the charitable work they were approved to do.
The new EZ form must be filed online. The instructions include an eligibility checklist that organizations must complete before filing the form.
The Form 1023-EZ must be filed using pay.gov, and a $400 user fee is due at the time the form is submitted. Further details on the new Form 1023-EZ application process can be found in Revenue Procedure 2014-40, posted today on IRS.gov.
Ellis Carter is a nonprofit lawyer with Caritas Law Group, P.C. Ellis advises nonprofit and socially responsible businesses on corporate, tax, and fundraising regulations. Ellis is licensed to practice in Washington and Arizona and advises nonprofits on federal tax and fundraising regulations nationwide. Ellis also advises donors with regard to major gifts. To schedule a consultation with Ellis, call 602-456-0071 or email us through our contact form.