Optional Expedited Processing Offered to Certain 501(c)(4) Applicants Before December 23, 2013


Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

No new organizations are eligible for the original expedited processing program described on this page.

This webpage provides information about the original optional expedited process offered to certain applicants for section 501(c)(4) status in June 2013 and is only relevant to applicants that received a Letter 5228 (6-13)  prior to December 2013.  

In December 2013, the IRS began to offer a similar optional, expedited process to 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. 

In June 2013, the IRS offered optional expedited processing pursuant to Interim Guidance Memo TEGE-07-0613-03, reissued in June 2014 as TEGE-07-0614-0016, Interim Guidance on Optional Expedited Process for Certain Exemption Applications Under Section 501(c)(4). This optional expedited process was available only to applicants for 501(c)(4) status whose applications had been pending 120 or more days as of May 28, 2013, and indicated the organization may be involved in political campaign intervention.  

Since the issuance of the original June 25, 2013 memorandum, other interim guidance memoranda were released that modified some portions of the process originally described in the June 25, 2013 memorandum.  On July 28, 2014 the Director issued  TEGE-07-0714-0022,  Interim Guidance on Optional Expedited Process for Applicants for Section 501(c)(4) Status Who Received a Letter 5228 Before December 23, 2013PDF. This Interim Guidance memorandum consolidates the various interim guidance memoranda impacting the original optional expedited program described in the June 25, 2013 memorandum into a single document that clearly describes the process that Exempt Organizations has used and will continue to use in processing the identified pending applications.

Letter 5228 (6-2013)

The IRS sent Letter 5228 (6-2013) to eligible applicants beginning in June 2013. The letter explained that under this optional expedited process, the applicant would receive a determination letter recognizing it as exempt under section 501(c)(4) if it made the following representations with respect to all its past, current, and future activities:

  • The applicant devotes 60% or more of both spending and time to activities that promote social welfare as defined by Section 501(c)(4).
  • The applicant devotes less than 40% of both spending and time to political campaign intervention.

Applicants who chose to participate in this expedited processing were advised to complete and return pages 4-5 (Representations and Specific Instructions) of the letter within 45 days of the date of the letter.   The IRS agreed to send the applicant a favorable determination within two weeks of receipt of the signed representations.

Regular Review of Applications

Some applicants could not or did not choose to make the representations. Such applications are reviewed based on the legal standards applied to all the facts and circumstances to determine whether the organization primarily engages in activities that promote social welfare.  Upon completion of the review process, the applicant receives a favorable ruling or proposed adverse ruling on its exempt status. If the process results in a proposed adverse ruling, the applicant may protest the proposed adverse ruling. Under the recently-issued Interim Guidance Memo TEGE-07-00514-0012, Appeals Office Consideration of All Proposed Adverse Rulings Relating to Tax-Exempt Status  for EO Technical by Request, applicants that file a protest  may not only request a conference with the Exempt Organizations Technical Office but may also request review of their protest by the IRS Office of Appeals.

Related Items: