Submit A Complete Application

Submit A Complete Application (PDF)


User Fee
The IRS has charged a non-refundable processing fee for exemption applications since 1987.  For 2018, the IRS has abanconed the two-tier fee schedule used since 2004.  All applicants using the long-form 1023 pay $600.  Some experts feel your application will be handled more promptly if you pay the User Fee with a cashier's check or money order.  Others disagree.  If you pay with a personal check, watch your bank statements carefully to make sure the IRS does, in fact, cash your check for the User Fee.  If they don't, your application may have gotten lost in the mail.


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


Mailing Address
Currently, all exemption applications are initially handled in the IRS Cincinatti Service Center, located in Covington, Kentucky.
If you mail your exemption application, it should be sent to:
            Internal Revenue Service
            Attn: E.O. Determinations, Stop 31
            P. O. Box 12192
            Covington, Kentucky 41012-0192

The address in the current instructions for Form 1023 (dated December, 2017) is (finally) correct.


If you send your application by means of a delivery service which requires a street address, it should be sent to:
            Internal Revenue Service
            Attn: E.O. Determinations, Stop 31
            201 West Rivercenter Blvd
            Covington, Kentucky 41011


​IRS Processing Flow Chart

A version of this flow chart appeared on irs.gov before Form 1023-EZ was released.  As of 11/2016, they still had not revised the flow chart to reflect the new form.  Flow Chart


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


Inquiry Letters

Since most small/simple organizations can now file Form 1023-EZ, long-form applicants are even more likely to receive an inquiry letter before the IRS makes a decision.  Here is a link to revised IRS inquiry letter procedures issued in late 2015.  (Hint: If you do not respond within their time limit, you may have to submit a new application.)  The IRS website provides sample inquiry questions in nearly two dozen categories.


Statistics

During the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015, the IRS approved 93.8% of the 501(c)(3) applications received.  Only .06% of 501(c)(3) applications were denied.  The other six percent or so includes miscellaneous case closures such as failure to provide additional information when requested, application withdrawn and status granted different from status applied for, but the IRS does not provide a detailed breakdown.


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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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