To apply for exemption, a foundation should obtain and complete the required forms (applications for employer identification number and exemption) and submit them along with the required user fee. If a foundation will be represented by an attorney or other representative, it must also submit a power of attorney. See When to File for a discussion of deadlines for filing an application.
Public disclosure requirements apply to exemption applications that the IRS approves. In addition, cases in which the IRS has issued a letter denying or revoking a foundation's exempt status are subject to public disclosure under Internal Revenue Code.
As of July 2014, a shortened version of the standard application (Form 1023) was made available as Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Private operating foundations and certain other organizations cannot file a Form 1023-EZ. To learn more about this process and whether your organization is eligible refer to Revenue Procedure 2016-5, which is updated annually.