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Private Foundation - IRS Processing of Exemption Applications

Your exemption application may provide enough information for the IRS to issue a ruling on your exempt status under section 501(c)(3). Frequently, however, the IRS reviewer will need additional information to complete your application. The reviewer will write a letter requesting the additional information by a specified date.

While You Wait
If an annual exempt organization return is due while the organization's application for recognition of exempt status is pending with the IRS (including any appeal of a proposed adverse determination), the organization must file it, indicating that its exemption application is pending. Like other exempt organization returns, these are subject to public disclosure .
If an organization has unrelated business income of more than $1,000, also file Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return.
Your organization should comply with tax law requirements applicable to section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations.  See Publication 4221-PF, Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Private Foundations, for more information.
Incomplete Application
If an exemption application does not contain the required information, including the user fee, the IRS may return it with a letter of explanation, and will not consider the application on its merits.

Different Application Form Needed
If a different application form is required for your organization, the IRS will so advise your organization and will provide the appropriate application form for your convenience in reapplying under that paragraph, if you wish to do so. Although supporting information previously furnished need not be duplicated, you must provide any necessary additional information required for the application. If your reply is not received within a limited time, your application will be processed only for the paragraph under which you originally applied.

TIP:   If you decide that the application should be processed for the paragraph under which you originally applied, you must respond to any outstanding questions regarding whether the organization qualifies under that paragraph, or the application will be denied because the organization has not provided enough information to show that it is exempt under the paragraph for which it applied.

IRS Responses
Organizations that submit a complete application will receive an acknowledgment from the IRS. Others will receive a letter requesting more information or returning an incomplete application. IRS Headquarters notifies applicants when their applications have been received from EO Determinations for consideration.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 09-Jan-2015