Tax Tip: How to Apply for Tax-Exempt Status for Organizations

If an organization wants to apply for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3), it starts by filling out a Form 1023-series application. They must submit a complete application as well as the user fee. To complete the application, the organization also needs its employer identification number. Generally, an organization that is required to apply for the recognition of exemption must notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) within 27 months of the date of formation.

Some organizations (including churches or public charities whose annual gross receipts are less than $5,000) may not need to apply for 501(c)(3) status to be tax-exempt. When the IRS determines an organization qualifies for exemption under Section 501(c)(3), it will also be classified as a foundation unless it meets the requirements to be a public charity.

*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov6

Footnotes and Sources

  1., January 31, 2023.