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


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This website has only a fraction of the information you can find in Prepare Your Own 501(c)(3) Application:


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Prepare Your Own 501(c)(3) Application

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

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(available in pdf as well; send email request)

Interactive Form 1023

In late 2013, the IRS made an "Interactive Form 1023" available for 501(c)(3) applicants without making any changes to the underlying Form 1023.  The Interactive Form 1023 was originally touted as a way to speed up the application process, but has been completely eclipsed by the Form 1023-EZ, a  two and a half page "Streamlined" 501(c)(3) application, that made its appearance in mid-2014.  IRS representatives don't even talk about the Interactive 1023 any more in speaking engagements.

The interactive version has live links to relevant excerpts from the Form 1023 instructions, and to various pages of irs.gov or the “Stay Exempt” site.  Built-in continuation sheets for responses to most questions have also been added.

Links to the Form 1023 instructions and user-ready attachments to Form 1023 may be time savers when applicants complete the form.  Active links to relevant pages of irs.gov,Stay Exempt or 1023 Schedules may also come in handy. But that's about all this new i1023 offers to applicants.  This form will still have to be filed the old fashioned way - printed and snail-mailed. The IRS is NOT offering i1023 users a reduced fee, as the "Cyber Assistant" once promised. 


This website has only a fraction of the information you can find in Prepare Your Own 501(c)(3) Application.


Download information: The i1023 downloads as a zip file, and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader version 9 or higher.  The link provided in the forms & Pubs section of irs.gov takes you to a brief interview meant to screen out folks not quite ready to apply: https://www.stayexempt.irs.gov/Starting-Out/Interactive-Form-1023-Prerequisite-Questions.  


Click here to read my feedback emails to the IRS about the interactive form. 


Cyber Assistant

Early versions of the Interactive Form 1023 were called the Cyber Assistant.  Originally conceived in 2002, the Cyber Assistant was not ready for IRS-announced release dates in 2007, 2008 or 2009.  Although the 2010 annual list of IRS fees included a reduced User Fee for Cyber Assistant users, the on-line application form again failed to appear.  In early 2011, the IRS used their annual fee schedule revision to announce that the Cyber Assistant would not be available in 2011.  Annual fee schedules since 2011 have not mentioned the Cyber Assistant. 

In theory, the Cyber Assistant would have guided applicants through an on-line version of Form 1023, displaying educational messages and helping applicants resolve inconsistencies as they fill out the form.  The goal was a fully on-line form which could be filed electronically when complete.  The modified Cyber Assistant envisioned in 2010 would not have been fully electronic, but would have speeded up IRS processing through special bar-coding inserted when the applicant printed out a completed Form 1023 to submit the old-fashioned way - on paper, through the mail.  The Interactive 1023 that finally emerged in 2013 does not even have bar-coding: it was not clear that home computer printers would be able to print bar codes that could be read by IRS equipment. 


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Interactive Form 1023/Cyber Assistant