Requirement for Section 501(c)(4) organizations – Form 8976
Internal Revenue Code Section 506 requires an organization notify the IRS of its intent to operate as a Section 501(c)(4) organization.
Form 8976, Notice of Intent to Operate Under Section 501(c)(4)
Form 8976, Notice of Intent to Operate Under Section 501(c)(4), must be submitted electronically. To do this, use the Form 8976 Electronic Notice Registration System. You do not need special software to submit a notification. You do need an email address to activate your login ID and password. The system allows organizations to complete the notification process, keeps account information current and enables organizations to receive secure, digital communications from the IRS.
A fee of $50 must be submitted to Pay.gov with your registration to complete your organization’s notification. If you don’t submit the fee, you will receive a non-payment notice within 5 days reminding you to pay the fee. If you don’t submit the fee within 14 days, your form will be rejected.
Form 8976 and the corresponding fee may only be completed and submitted electronically. There is no paper form.
Organizations complete Form 8976 only once. However, you will have to file annual information returns or notices (e.g., Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or Form 990-N) depending on your total assets and gross receipts.
In addition to submitting Form 8976, organizations operating as 501(c)(4) organizations may also choose to file Form 1024-A, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, to request recognition of tax-exempt status. Submission of a Form 1024-A does not relieve an organization of the requirement to submit Form 8976.
Who must submit Form 8976
The requirement applies to organizations intending to operate under Section 501(c)(4) only. Organizations operating under any other 501(c) section should not file this notice.
In general, an organization that intends to be described in Section 501(c)(4) must notify the IRS that it is operating as a Section 501(c)(4) organization within 60 days of its formation.
There are certain exceptions to the notification requirement. Organizations that filed a Form 990 (or, if eligible, Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N) or a Form 1024 seeking a determination letter recognizing exemption under Section 501(c)(4) on or before July 8, 2016, are not required to file the notification. For additional information, please refer to Rev. Proc. 2016-41 (PDF).
Notification due date
For most organizations, the notification is due no later than 60 days after the organization is established.
If an organization does not submit the notification within 60 days, a penalty of $20 per day for each day the failure continues, up to a maximum of $5,000, will be assessed. For certain organizations in existence as of December 18, 2015, please see Rev. Proc. 2016-41 (PDF) for information regarding the timing for submitting the notification.
How to submit Form 8976
To electronically submit Form 8976, Notice of Intent to Operate Under Section 501(c)(4), use the Form 8976 Electronic Notice Registration System.
You do not need special software to submit a notification. You do need an email address to activate your login ID and password.
Prior to filing your form, please review the following information:
Information you will need when submitting the notification
Form 8976, Notice of Intent to Operate Under Section 501(c)(4), is easy to complete. You'll need the following information about your organization:
- An email address to activate your login ID and password
- Business name
- Date organized
- State and country organized
- Filing year/month
- Statement of purpose of the organization
You will also need to have your credit card information ready to pay the $50 fee at Pay.gov.
What happens after Form 8976 is submitted?
The IRS is required to acknowledge that an organization’s notification has been submitted. In some circumstances, an organization may be informed that its notification was not properly completed.
The IRS may communicate the acknowledgement or information regarding an incomplete notification electronically to the user account of the individual submitting the Form 8976 on behalf of the organization. Accordingly, an organization should ensure that the individual submitting the Form 8976 is authorized by the organization to receive this information.
When can you expect to hear from us?
If you submitted a complete and accurate notification, you can expect to receive an acknowledgement from the IRS within 60 days of submitting your notification.
For technical issues and questions about the electronic form, please call TE/GE Customer Accounts Services at 877-829-5500.