Getting On-Line Help from the IRS
Form 1023 Paperwork, In Millions of Hours, 1986 to 2016
Source: U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Click image to learn more.
Real Help With Your 501(c)(3) Application
The IRS recently restored the direct link to Exempt Organizations materials from their home page. It's about four inches from the top, and just a bit right of center. For many years only an indirect link, through the "Information For..." drop-down list in the upper right hand corner, was available. Either link will take you to: www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits, the Exempt Organizations home page.
The IRS provides hundreds of pages of information on tax exempt organizations on irs.gov.
One thing you will not find is Frequently Asked Questions about Form 1023-EZ. Maybe the IRS believes no one could need help with an easy "streamlined" form? I first posted 1023-EZ FAQs in the summer of 2014, a few months after the IRS released Form 1023-EZ. You can find my EZ FAQs here.
Neither will you be able to find certain IRS Revenue Rulings pertinent to 501(c)(3) organizations. These rulings have not been revoked or superseded, so it is not at all clear why the IRS has not included them on irs.gov. I have posted the Missing Rulings here.
Please note, as well, that information on irs.gov is not always up-to-date. For instance, several pages discussing Automatic Revocation/Reinstatement still mention Revenue Procedure 2011-14, which was superseded in early 2014.
Because of shrinking resources, the IRS plans to replace telephone and face-to-face public interaction with on-line tools. The National Taxpayer Advocate points out at least two potential drawbacks this plan: "…millions of taxpayers with Internet access do not feel comfortable trying to resolve important financial matters over the Internet, and many taxpayer problems are not 'cookie cutter,' thus requiring a degree of back-and-forth discussion that is better suited for conversation…"