Frequently Asked Questions: Form 1023


Organizational leadership can learn more about these topics and the benefits, limitations and expectations of tax-exempt organizations by attending 10 courses at the online Small to Mid-Size Tax Exempt Organization Workshop.

General Information

  1. Must an organization obtain an employer identification number to apply for exemption?
  2. Can an organization use a "mailing address" on its application?
  3. What requirements apply if an organization will be represented by an attorney or other authorized representative?
  4. Why does Form 1023 request a fax number?
  5. Does it matter if an organization is formed in a country other than the United States?
  6. Who can an organization contact about computer and technology issues related to a form submitted electronically via
  7. How can an organization make a correction or change to a form submitted electronically via
  8. Who can an organization contact with questions about charities and other non-profit organizations?

Organizational Structure and Organizing Documents

  1. What kinds of organizations can file Form 1023?
  2. Can a limited liability company file Form 1023?
  3. What provisions must be in an organization's organizing document for it to qualify for exemption under section 501(c)(3)?


  1. What activities should be described in Part IV of Form 1023?
  2. How much detail should be provided in the narrative description of activities?
  3. Why does Form 1023 request detailed information about an organization's members and other individuals and organizations that receive benefits from it?
  4. What information must be submitted about benefits to members and other individuals/organizations that receive benefits from an organization?
  5. What is the purpose of the questions about specific activities in Part IV  of Form 1023?
  6. How far in the future do we need to project fundraising efforts?
  7. Part IV asks about intellectual property. This question is very broad - as written, it could include even a charity's brochures or donor list. What do you want?

Compensation and Other Financial Arrangements with Officers, Directors, Trustees, Employees, and Independent Contractors

  1. Why does Form 1023 request detailed information about compensation and other financial arrangements with officers, directors, trustees, employees, and independent contractors?
  2. What information must be submitted about compensation of key individuals?
  3. What type of information is expected to be provided when describing the “qualifications” and “duties” of officers, directors, trustees, five highest compensated employees, and five highest compensated independent contractors?
  4. What is the purpose of the conflict of interest policy?
  5. Are bonuses provided through retirement plans considered non-fixed payments?
  6. What does an organization that does not pay compensation report in Part V?

Financial Data

  1. Why does Form 1023 request detailed financial data about an organization applying for exemption?
  2. What financial data is requested by Form 1023?
  3. For what periods must the Statement of Revenue and Expenses in Part VI be completed?

Foundation Classification

  1. What information is requested in Part VII of Form 1023?

Signature Block and User Fee Information

  1. What are the signature requirements?
  2. May an authorized representative sign Form 1023?
  3. How much is the user fee for an exemption application?
  4. How can the user fee for an exemption application be paid?

Required Attachment to Form 1023

  1. Does the organization need to submit any documents with the Form 1023 application?

Processing Applications

  1. How can my application for tax-exempt status be expedited?

Additional Information