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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)
[If you already know your organization is not eligible to file Form 1023-EZ, you can skip this page.]
The IRS offers two different 501(c)(3) applications. Although all 501(c)(3) applicants are permitted to use the long form (1023), most would prefer to use the "Streamlined" Form, 1023-EZ, because it is only 2½ pages long, and does not require attachments.
The first step in choosing which form to file is determining whether your organization is eligible to use Form 1023-EZ.
Generally, in order to use Form 1023-EZ applicants must have gross receipts less than $50,000 and assets less than $250,000.
More than 20 types of organizations are ineligible to file the EZ, even if they meet these size requirements. In addition to financial considerations, history, activities and foundation status can all render an organization ineligible.
The complete Eligibility List starts on page 11 of the 1023-EZ instructions. The eligibility list is an interactive form. If you check "yes" to one of the questions, you receive a message saying that your organization is not eligible to file Form 1023-EZ, and must file the long-form. The message also says that the checklist has been "locked." Unchecking the yes box unlocks the checklist.
Organizations eligible to file Form 1023-EZ might decide to use the long-form 1023 for one or more of the following reasons:
(This discussion of eligibility requirements was current as of early 2016. Because these eligibility requirements are not set forth in the Internal Revenue Code, the IRS can change them, and almost certainly will. At the very least, the gross receipts and assets limits will be increased at some time in the future to allow for inflation. It is also possible that other eligibility categories will be added or removed as IRS enforcement priorities shift.)
This website has only a fraction of the information you can find in Prepare Your Own 501(c)(3) Application
Which Form 1023 Should You Use?
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