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Tax Law Blog: UPDATE: Form 1023 EZ Released for Small Nonprofits - July 2, 2014

It seems as soon as I blogged about the draft Form 1023-EZ, the IRS released the final form.  So, this will serve as an update and follow-up to my June 30, 2014 post. on the Form 1023-EZ, the IRS has now released Form 1023-EZ, the instructions, and Rev. Proc 2014-40 setting for procedures under the streamlined application. (See the prior post for information regarding what entities are eligible to use the streamlined procedure.) 

After a quick review of the Rev. Proc., I saw a few interesting bits of information.

  • The user fee is $400. This is the same user fee for the small organizations using Form 1023. 
  • The form and user fee must be submitted on Paper submissions will not be accepted. 
  • According to the instructions, the form must be electronically signed by an officer, director, or trustee who is listed on the form by checking the penalty of perjury box and typing his or her name. Interestingly, at first glance it does not appear there is any place to designate an attorney or other professional to submit the form on an entity's behalf. 
  • An eligible organization with a Form 1023 application pending and not yet assigned for review can submit Form 1023-EZ and the IRS will treat this as a request for withdrawal of the pending Form 1023. It seems another user fee will be required and the initial fee will not be refunded. 
  • A random sample of Form 1023-EZ applications will be selected for additional review.
  • Organizations whose exempt status has been revoked for failure to file a Form 990 series return that fit the qualifications for to Form 1023-EZ, can  use the streamlined form to apply for reinstatement under Rev. Proc. 2014-11.

I think most welcome the streamlined process for small organizations. Not only will this reduce the cost and time on the front end to submit the application, presumably it will also shorten the time it takes the IRS to review the applications and issue determination letters. That said, I think there are still some questions to be worked out.  For one, I have never used the site to submit documents to the IRS, which makes me wonder about the ability to prove when an application was filed. Previously my practice was to mail things to the IRS using certified mail with return receipt to prove when the document was mailed. Additionally, I wonder, in practice, how frequently organizations will be asked to provide additional information following the initial review of the IRS.  As with all changes with the IRS, time will tell how the new streamlined process will work.