Table of Contents
- Purpose of Form
- Obtaining Tax-Exempt Status
- What to File
- When to File
- Where To File
- Filing Assistance
- Signature Requirements
- Public Inspection
- Foreign Organizations in General
Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code unless otherwise noted.
Answer items completely. Where a “Yes” or “No” reply is not requested, you may answer “Not Applicable” where appropriate. If you believe you have previously answered the item, you may refer to your previous answer.
To apply for tax-exempt status, file Form 1023 and pay the appropriate user fee.
We will only approve expedited processing of an application where a request is made in writing and contains a compelling reason for processing the application ahead of others. Circumstances generally warranting expedited processing include:
A grant to the applicant is pending and the failure to secure the grant may have an adverse impact on the organization's ability to continue operations.
The purpose of the newly created organization is to provide disaster relief to victims of emergencies such as flood and hurricane.
There have been undue delays in issuing a letter caused by problems within the IRS.
The law requires payment of a user fee with each application. Submit the appropriate user fee based on your average annual gross receipts as indicated on Form 1023. Enclose payment with your application. DO NOT STAPLE or otherwise attach your check or money order to your application.
You may pay your user fee with a personal or certified check, bank check, or cashier's check. Processing your application will not be delayed by the form of payment unless your check is returned to us for insufficient funds.
Generally, a user fee will be refunded only if we decline to issue a determination. Additional guidance regarding user fees is available in Rev. Proc. 2006-8, 2006-1 I.R.B. 245, or later revision (revised in the first Internal Revenue Bulletin (I.R.B.) issued each year).
For additional information on the user fee, see Part XI.
Form 1023 is not used to apply for a group exemption. A group exemption is issued to a central organization that recognizes on a group basis the exemption of subordinate organizations on whose behalf the central organization has applied. See Publication 557 for information on how to apply for a group exemption.
All applicants, unless otherwise noted, must complete Parts I through XI of Form 1023, plus any required schedules and attachments.
The following organizations must complete additional schedules to Form 1023.
IF your organization
is a(n) . . .
|THEN you must file Schedule . . .|
|School, College, or University||B|
|Hospital or Medical Research Organization||C|
|Section 509(a) Supporting Organization||D|
|Organization Not Filing Form 1023 Within 27 Months of Formation||E|
|Home for the Elderly or Handicapped and Low-Income Housing||F|
|Successor to Other Organizations||G|
|Organization Providing Scholarships, Fellowships, Educational Loans, or Other Educational Grants to Individuals and Private Foundations Requesting Approval of Individual Grant Procedures||H|
To assist us in processing the application, documents should be submitted in the following order.
User fee enclosed but not attached to the application form.
Form 1023 Checklist.
Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (if needed).
Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization (if needed).
Expedite request (if needed).
Application (Form 1023, Checklist, and Schedules A through H, as required).
Amendments to organizing document in chronological order.
Bylaws or other rules of operation and amendments.
Documentation of nondiscriminatory policy for schools, as required by Schedule B.
Form 5768, Election/Revocation of Election by an Eligible Section 501(c)(3) Organization To Make Expenditures To Influence Legislation (if filing).
All other attachments, including explanations, financial data, and printed materials or publications.
Use an attachment where there is insufficient space on the form for you to legibly and accurately respond to a question. For any attachments submitted with your Form 1023:
Use 8½ x 11 inch paper.
Provide your name and Employer Identification Number (EIN) at the top of each page.
Identify the Part and line number to which the attachment relates.
Include any court decisions, rulings, opinions, or any other documents that will assist us in processing your Form 1023.
Generally, attachments in the form of tape, recordings or other electronic media are not acceptable unless accompanied by a transcript.
Attachments must be in English.
If you file Form 1023 within 27 months after the end of the month in which you were legally formed, and we approve the application, the legal date of formation will be the effective date of your exempt status.
If you do not file Form 1023 within 27 months of formation, you may not qualify for exempt status before the date we receive Form 1023. The date considered to be the date we receive Form 1023 is generally the postmark date. For exceptions and special rules, including automatic extensions, see Schedule E of Form 1023.
|Internal Revenue Service|
|P.O. Box 192|
|Covington, KY 41012-0192|
If you are using express mail or a delivery service, send the completed Form 1023 application, with all required information and user fee to:
|Internal Revenue Service|
|201 West Rivercenter Blvd.|
|Attn: Extracting Stop 312|
|Covington, KY 41011|
In addition to the United States mail, you can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the “timely mailing as timely
filing/paying” rule for tax returns and payments. The most recent list of designated private delivery services includes only the following:
DHL Express (DHL): DHL “Same Day” Service; DHL Next Day 10:30 AM; DHL Next Day 12:00 PM; DHL Next Day 3:00 PM; and DHL 2nd Day Service.
Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First.
United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.
The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.
For help in completing this form or general questions relating to an exempt organization, call the Exempt Organization Customer Account Services toll free at 1-877-829-5500. You may also access information on our website at www.irs.gov/eo.
Listed below are a number of publications that may be helpful to your organization.
Publication 517, Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers
Publication 526, Charitable Contributions
Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization
Publication 598, Tax on Unrelated Business Income of Exempt Organizations
Publication 1771, Charitable Contributions Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements
Publication 1828, Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations
Publication 3079, Gaming Publication for Tax-Exempt Organizations
Publication 3833, Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance through Charitable Organizations
Publication 4220, Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status
Publication 4221, Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations
Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations Described in Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (searchable online at www.irs.gov/eo)
Philanthropic Research, Inc., aka GuideStar, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, maintains information about specific section 501(c)(3) organizations (searchable online at www.guidestar.org).
An officer, director, trustee, or other official who is authorized to sign for the organization must sign Form 1023 at the end of Part XI. The signature must be accompanied by the title or authority of the signer and the date. Please clearly print the accompanying information.
We will acknowledge receiving your application in writing. You may expect to receive this notice within 21 days of the postmark date of the Form 1023. Read the notice thoroughly because it will provide further information about the processing of your Form 1023.
If an annual information return or tax return is due while the Form 1023 is pending, complete the return, mark “Application Pending” in the heading, and send the return to the address indicated in the instructions.
Information on return filing requirements and exceptions may be found in Publications 557 and 598 and in the instructions to the annual returns listed in Figure 1.
|Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax||Section 501(c)(3) public charities|
|Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax||Section 501(c)(3) public charities whose gross receipts during the year were less than $100,000 and total assets at the end of the year were less than $250,000|
|Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ), Organization Exempt under Section 501(c)(3)||Section 501(c)(3) public charities|
|Schedule B (Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF), Schedule of Contributors||All section 501(c)(3) organizations|
|Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation||Private foundations, including private operating foundations|
|Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return||Public charities and private foundations that have gross unrelated business income of $1,000 or more|
Your complete Form 1023 and any supporting documents.
All correspondence between you and the IRS concerning Form 1023, including Form 2848.
The letter we issue approving your exemption.
Annual information returns (Forms 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF).
Schedule A, included with Forms 990 or 990-EZ.
Schedule B, included with Forms 990 or 990-EZ, except the names and addresses of contributors and other identifying information about contributors.
Schedule B, included with Form 990-PF, including names, addresses and other identifying information about contributors.
Any information relating to a trade secret, patent, style of work, or apparatus that, if released, would adversely affect you. (We must approve withholding this information.)
Any other information that would adversely affect the national defense. (We must approve withholding this information.)
User fee check.
Information only applications from the United States Virgin Islands, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and related supporting documents.
Contributors' names and addresses and identifying information about contributors included with Forms 990 or 990-EZ and the Schedule B, filed with these forms.
Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return.
Foreign organizations are those that were created in countries other than the United States, its territories, or its possessions. Foreign organizations may apply for tax-exempt status on income earned in the United States in the same way that domestic organizations apply for exempt status. See, Language and currency requirements.
A foreign organization applying for exempt status should complete all required parts of Form 1023. There are, however, special rules below for some Canadian organizations.
Canadian organizations that have received a Notification of Registration from the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (formerly, Revenue Canada), and whose registrations have not been revoked (“Canadian registered charities”), are automatically recognized as section 501(c)(3) organizations and are not required to file Form 1023. Canadian registered charities are also presumed to be private foundations. A Canadian registered charity may complete certain portions of the Form 1023 in order to be listed as a section 501(c)(3) organization in IRS Publication 78, or to request classification as a public charity, rather than a private foundation. A Canadian registered charity should only complete and submit the following documents.
Copy of its Notification of Registration.
Part I of Form 1023.
Part X of Form 1023 (if requesting public charity classification).
Signature line in Part XI of Form 1023.
Form 8833, Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure Under Section 6114 or 7701(b).
No user fee is required.
Organizations created in possessions and territories of the United States are generally treated as domestic organizations. These organizations complete all required parts of Form 1023 to apply for exempt status under section 501(c)(3). Special rules, discussed below, apply to some Virgin Islands organizations.
Charitable contributions to organizations created in United States possessions and territories are deductible by the donors if the organization qualifies for exempt status under section 501(c)(3).
The United States Virgin Islands, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) may request an information only letter concerning the exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of an organization formed in the Virgin Islands. The organization itself does not seek U.S. recognition of exempt status. The information only procedure requires the BIR to complete Form 1023 and supporting documents for the organization, but does not require a user fee payment. The application and supporting documents are not open for public inspection (see Public Inspection, for more information).
All other Virgin Islands organizations that seek U.S. recognition of exempt status under section 501(c)(3) must follow the normal application process.
|More Online Instructions|