An organization that files an application after the 27-month deadline may be recognized as tax-exempt from the date of the application.

If the 27-month period for filing Form 1023 has passed, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service may extend the time to file if the organization can show good cause.  Because the 27-month period in which an organization must file Form 1023 is fixed by the regulations, rather than by statute, an extension may be granted only if the request meets certain conditions.

The following factors will be taken into account in determining if good cause for granting the extension has been shown.

  1. Due diligence of the taxpayer
  2. Prompt action by the taxpayer
  3. Intent of the taxpayer
  4. Prejudice to the interests of the government
  5. Statutory and regulatory objectives.

When submitting Form 1023, an organization may request an extension to file on Schedule E. The organization should describe in detail the reasons for filing late, how it discovered the failure to file, any reliance on professional advice or advice from the IRS, and any other information it believes will support the request for relief. Also, the organization may want to provide a comparison of (1) what its aggregate tax liability would be if it had filed this application within the 27-month period with (2) what its aggregate liability would be if it was exempt as of its formation date.

The IRS may consider the following factors:

  • The organization filed Form 1023 before the IRS discovered the failure to file.
  • The organization failed to file because of intervening events beyond its control.
  • The organization exercised reasonable diligence, but it was not aware of the filing requirements. (The complexity of the filing and experience in these matters may be taken into consideration.)
  • The organization reasonably relied on written advice from the IRS.
  • The organization reasonably relied on the advice of a qualified tax professional who failed to file or advise it to file Form 1023.

Additional information