Q:

How do you apply for 501c3 status?

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Quick Answer

When forming a nonprofit corporation, it is important to apply for 501(c)(3) status by completing IRS Form 1023, which is the application for recognition of tax exemption, as noted by Nolo.com. This form has to be filed with the IRS within 27 months of a nonprofit organization's filing date for its article of incorporation.

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Full Answer

Before a nonprofit corporation applies for tax-exempt status, it must have an employer identification number and organizing document verification, and the organizing documents must include the 501(c)(3) purpose and dissolution clause and authorization for copies of documents or their inspection, states IRS.gov. For this tax information authorization, the nonprofit organization needs to fill out Form 8821 along with Form 1023. Additionally, depending on the size of the nonprofit organization, there are two versions of Form 1023, the 1023-EZ and the long version, which has 11 parts, notes Nolo.com.

Filling out Form 1023 can be a long and complicated task that may require the services of a lawyer due to the legal technicalities involved with applying for this status with the IRS. To fill out the form without hiring a lawyer, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to the IRS website
  2. Click on the Form 1023 link on IRS.gov, which leads to a PDF form. Click on the link titled Instructions for Form 1023 that provides complete instructions for each part of this form.

  3. Fill out each section
  4. Enter in section one, which is titled Identification of Applicant, the organization's name, mailing address, contact name, EIN and all other information requested. Answer the questions in Section 2 (Organizational Structure) and attach copies of the articles of incorporation and bylaws. Continue filling out this form until all 11 sections are complete. Review the provided checklist after finishing the application.

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