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Optional Expedited Processing Expanded to All Eligible 501(c)(4) Applicants Beginning in December 2013

This webpage provides information about the expanded optional expedited process announced in December 2013 for all section 501(c)(4) applicants whose applications indicate that the organization may be involved in political campaign intervention or in providing private benefit to a political party and that otherwise do not present any issue with regard to exempt status. 

For information about the original optional expedited program offered to certain section 501(c)(4) applicants beginning in June 2013 that is only relevant to applicants that received a Letter 5228 (6-13)  prior to December 2013, click here.  

If your organization applied for exemption under section 501(c)(4), and the activities described in your application indicate that the organization could potentially be engaged in political campaign intervention or in providing private benefit to a political party, and your application does not present any other issues with regard to exempt status, you may receive a Letter 5228, Application Notification of Expedited 501(c)(4) Option (9-13), offering you the option of expedited processing of your organization’s application.

A fact sheet summarizes the main points of this process.

If you receive Letter 5228 (9-13)

The IRS will issue a favorable determination letter to your organization if you make the following representations with respect to all past, current and future years:

  • Your organization devotes 60 percent or more of both spending and time to activities that promote social welfare as defined by section 501(c)(4).
  • Your organization devotes 40 percent or less of both spending and time to political campaign intervention.

Provide representations to the IRS

Please review Letter 5228 (9-13) and follow the instructions. If you wish to participate in the optional expedited process, complete and return pages 3-4 (Representations and Specific Instructions) of the letter within 45 days from the date of your letter. IRS will send you a favorable determination letter within one month of receipt of your signed representations.

If you think you should have received a letter

If you did not receive Letter 5228 (9-13) but believe your organization is eligible for the optional expedited process, you should make sure you meet the eligibility criteria listed in Letter 5228 (9-13), and then call 877-829-5500.

If you don't choose optional expedited processing

If you can't or don't choose to make the requested representations within 45 days from the date of your Letter 5228 (9-13), your application will be considered under our regular review processes.  The IRS will consider all the facts and circumstances to determine whether your organization primarily engages in activities that promote social welfare. Upon completion of this review, you will receive a favorable ruling or a proposed adverse ruling on your organization's exempt status.  If the process results in a proposed adverse ruling, you may protest the proposed adverse ruling determination.  Under the recently-issued Interim Guidance Memo TEGE-07-00514-0012,Appeals Office Consideration of All Proposed Adverse Rulings Relating to Tax-Exempt Status from EO Technical by Request, if you protest a proposed adverse ruling, you may not only request a conference with the Exempt Organizations Technical Office but may also request review of your protest by the IRS Office of Appeals.

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Note: In June 2013, the IRS initially offered optional, expedited processing to certain section 501(c)(4) applicants whose applications had been pending for more than 120 days as of May 28, 2013. If you received a Letter 5228 (6-13) before December 23, 2013, you were a participant in this original program and can find information about that program here

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 09-Jul-2014