Form 1023 Paperwork, In Millions of Hours, 1986 to 2016

Source: U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Click image to learn more.

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​​Most 501(c)(3) public charities need to receive at least one third of their support from the general public to maintain their public charity classification.


It pays to learn the public support rules and keep an eye on your one third support test, or to hire a professional to look this over from time to time. Good recordkeeping can really help.


In addition to basic information about your group’s income, the IRS will want to know detailed information about larger donations your organization receives. It may be helpful for your accountant, bookkeeper, or treasurer, to review IRS Form 990, Schedule A or Form 8734 in order to be aware of the information that will be needed, and to create a system for retrieving these details.  (The above link to Form 8734 worked on 1/11/18, but for some reason Form 8734 does not show up in a the forms section of www.irs.gov.) 


Some organizations receive little or no cash support during their early years. If you anticipate this will be true of your group, do your best to capture every scrap of information about the support your group receives. This means that your organization’s books and records should reflect donation income when folks pay expenses on your behalf (annual filing fees, long distance phone, etc.) and when mundane items (used office furniture, coffee supplies, stamps, etc.) are donated.


It may also be helpful to keep a record of volunteer hours and donated facilities. These receipts are ignored for purposes of the public support tests, but if your group falls short of one third public support, this information may help your group meet the alternate "Facts & Circumstances" public support test.  


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Prepare Your Own 501(c)(3) Application can help you calculate public support, identify unusual grants and modify public charity status.


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Prepare Your Own 501(c)(3) Application

By Sandy Deja © 2016 400 pages ISBN 978-0-9815280-9-0

$19.95




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Generate Public Support