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IRS Finalizes Streamlined Process for Applying for Sec. 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Status

(Parker Tax Publishing July 2017)

The IRS finalized temporary and proposed regulations that have applied since July 1, 2014, and that allow the IRS to adopt a streamlined application process that eligible organizations may use to apply for recognition of tax-exempt status under Code Sec. 501(c)(3). The regulations, which were finalized without substantive changes, apply on and after July 1, 2014. T.D. 9819 (6/30/17).

Code Sec. 508 requires an organization seeking tax-exempt status under Code Sec. 501(c)(3), as a condition of its exemption, to notify the IRS that it is applying for recognition of exempt status as prescribed in the regulations, unless it is specifically excepted from the requirement. Longstanding regulations under Reg. Sec. 1.501(a) - 1, Reg. Sec. 1.501(c)(3) - 1, and Reg. Sec. 1.508 - 1 had required all organizations applying for recognition of Code Sec. 501(c)(3) exempt status to submit a properly completed and executed Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and to submit with, and as part of, the application, a detailed statement of its proposed activities. Detailed procedures for applying for recognition of exemption are included in annual revenue procedures and in the instructions for Form 1023.

On July 2, 2014, the IRS issued final, temporary, and proposed regulations (T.D. 9674; REG-110948-14) authorizing the IRS to adopt a streamlined application process that eligible organizations may use to apply for recognition of tax-exempt status under Code Sec. 501(c)(3). The 2014 final regulations removed and reserved certain paragraphs of the longstanding final regulations addressed by corresponding paragraphs of the new temporary regulations. Under the temporary regulations, the IRS instituted the streamlined application process on Form 1023 - EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the detailed procedures for which have been provided in annual revenue procedures, most recently in Rev. Proc. 2017-5, and in the instructions for Form 1023 - EZ. The regulations were effective and applicable on July 1, 2014.

On June 30, 2017, the IRS adopted the temporary and proposed regulations as final without substantive change. According to the IRS, it is continuing to consider improvements to Form 1023-EZ based on its own experience and informal comments received from the public and other stakeholders on the form, including whether to require applicants to submit a brief statement of actual or proposed activities.

For a discussion of the requirements for applying for tax-exempt status under Code Sec. 501(c)(3), see Parker Tax ¶60,590.

Disclaimer: This publication does not, and is not intended to, provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and readers should consult their tax advisors concerning the application of tax laws to their particular situations. This analysis is not tax advice and is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer. The information contained herein is general in nature and based on authorities that are subject to change. Parker Tax Publishing guarantees neither the accuracy nor completeness of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for results obtained by others as a result of reliance upon such information. Parker Tax Publishing assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in tax laws or other factors that could affect information contained herein.

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