United States: IRS Introduces New Form 1023-EZ To Streamline Applications For 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

On July 1, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launched a new Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, that is intended to enable small charities to more easily apply for recognition of tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). The IRS has described the new form as a "common sense approach" to easing the filing burdens for small organizations and to shorten the time delays associated with IRS processing. Although not expressly stated, the new form is undoubtedly part of the IRS's current effort to alleviate the huge backlog of pending applications awaiting IRS review.

What's the general idea behind the new form?

The concept associated with the Form 1023-EZ is that the existing 26-page Form 1023 is simply unnecessary in the case of most small organizations. As designed, the new form becomes effectively a "registration" for exemption, rather than a comprehensive description of an organization's activities, operations, governance, finances, etc. The IRS has clarified that the new forms will not undergo substantive review by IRS personnel. Rather, the IRS will defer that review until a later date when organizations are up and running; at that point, the IRS will evaluate whether organizations are functioning as described in their original filings.

When the new form was announced in draft form earlier this year, many industry experts voiced concern about foregoing the important educational and compliance opportunities associated with completing the full Form 1023 in its standard form. Others expressed doubt as to whether the IRS would be able to effectively and consistently perform the type of follow-up reviews asserted as the means for ensuring compliance with exemption standards. Nonetheless, the IRS has forged ahead, presumably under pressure to address its internal processing challenges and perhaps to present some much-needed "taxpayer-friendly" news from the Exempt Organizations Division.

Concurrent with issuing the new form, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2014-40, which sets forth the procedures for using the new form and IRS's processing of the same.

Who is eligible to use the new form?

The Revenue Procedure describes the scope of organizations that are eligible to use the form, consisting generally of organizations whose annual gross receipts have not exceeded $50,000 during any of the past three years and whose projected gross receipts for the current year and next two years are below that threshold. In addition, eligible organizations may not have total assets exceeding $250,000. Notably, when the draft Form 1023-EZ was initially announced earlier this year, the thresholds were appreciably higher – annual gross receipts of $200,000 or less and assets of $500,000 or less. In setting the final eligibility requirements, the IRS reduced those thresholds, presumably in response to exempt community (and possibly state charity official) voices expressing concern about this new approach being poorly suited to ferreting out actual or intended noncompliance, as discussed above.

The Revenue Procedure goes on to list other criteria that render an applicant ineligible to use the new form, including foreign organizations, successors to for-profit entities, churches, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, supporting organizations described in IRC Section 509(a)(3), HMOs, ACOs, and entities maintaining donor-advised funds.

Notwithstanding the foregoing restrictions, the IRS has estimated that as many as 70 percent of organizations applying for 501(c)(3) status will be eligible to use the new form.

What does the new form look like?

Anyone who has tackled the process of preparing a Form 1023 in the past will recall the burden associated with wading through the standard 26-page application, which by necessity has traditionally covered a vast range of organizations (by size, scope and character) falling under the umbrella of 501(c)(3) status. By comparison, the new Form 1023-EZ is only three pages long and calls for:

  • Identifying information;
  • Form of entity under applicable state law, including check-box attestations regarding inclusion of appropriate language in pertinent organizational documents;
  • General information regarding the organization's activities, using NTEE classification codes, check-box attestations regarding compliance with basic exemption requirements, and yes-or-no answers to high-level questions presumably aimed at fleshing out potentially at-risk conduct;
  • A check-box approach for attesting to public charity status; and
  • A check-box approach for organizations seeking reinstatement after losing their exemption due to failure to file annual information returns for three consecutive years.

A copy of the new form is available here. The accompanying instructions can be found here.

How is the new Form 1023-EZ to be filed?

Form 1023-EZ must be filed electronically, using the www.pay.gov website. A $400 user fee applies. Once filed, the IRS process will consist of determining whether an application is complete, meaning that the applicant has provided a response to each line item in the form. If a form is incomplete, the IRS may request additional information accordingly. Once complete, the IRS will accept the form for processing.

What if we have a pending Form 1023 already in the queue at the IRS?

If an organization has already submitted Form 1023 to the IRS, it may nevertheless submit Form 1023-EZ if its Form 1023 has not yet been assigned for review. In that case, the IRS will treat the Form 1023 as withdrawn and will instead process the organization's Form 1023-EZ.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions