July 02, 2014

New Form 1023EZ Released

The Internal Revenue Service just released the new Form 1023-EZ application form to reduce processing delays and help small charities apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status more easily.

The new Form 1023-EZ is available today on IRS.gov. The final version three pages long compared with the standard 26-page Form 1023. Most small organizations, defined as those with gross receipts of $50,000 or less and assets of $250,000 or less, will qualify to use the new streamlined form.

The IRS introduced the streamlined process to speed the approval process for smaller groups and free up resources to review applications from larger, more complex organizations while reducing the application backlog. Currently, the IRS has more than 60,000 501(c)(3) applications in its backlog, with many of them pending for more than nine months or more.

The IRS revised the 1023-EZ in response to widespread criticism from state regulators and those working with charitable groups. The revisions include reducing the filing threshold from $200,000 in gross receipts to $50,000 in gross receipts.

The IRS has stated that by reducing the the time required to process applications, they will be able to devote more resources to audits and examinations to ensure charities are actually doing the charitable work they were approved to do.

The new EZ form must be filed online. The instructions include an eligibility checklist that organizations must complete before filing the form.

The Form 1023-EZ must be filed using pay.gov, and a $400 user fee is due at the time the form is submitted. Further details on the new Form 1023-EZ application process can be found in Revenue Procedure 2014-40, posted today on IRS.gov.

Organizations eligible to use the Form 1023-EZ may still elect to use the traditional long-version Form 1023.  Eligible organizations that have already submitted the Form 1023 may submit the Form 1023-EZ to supersede the earlier application, but only if the Form 1023 has not already been assigned for review.  The IRS will treat such a Form 1023-EZ as a withdrawal of the earlier Form 1023, but there is no refund of the first user fee.  The filing date of the application will become the later Form 1023-EZ date, not the earlier Form 1023 date.  The 27-month rule is not extended for these purposes.  If the Form 1023 has already been assigned for review when a Form 1023-EZ arrives to supersede it, the IRS will reject the later application and refund the second user fee.