The IRS is making it easier to help smaller charities apply for 501(c)(3) status. Organizations with less than $50,000 in annual receipts and less than $250,000 in assets can now apply, on line, by completing the 3-page 1023-EZ application, instead of having to file the 26-page Form 1023. The IRS estimates that 70% of all applicants will qualify for the easier application. This should cut down the backlog of 60,000 pending applications. Keep the following things in mind when applying through the new format:
1. The 1023-EZ application can only be filed on-line.
2. There is a $400 fee which must be paid through the IRS on-line payment system.
3. Before filing, make sure your organization has been properly incorporated as a non-profit corporation. Your attorney should know that there is special language which must be used in the organization's Articles of Incorporation, and that all of the initial documents contain language which will dovetail with the Form 1023-EZ.