July 14, 2014 •
Tax-Exempt Status Applications for 501(c)(3) Charities Streamlined for Most Groups
Applications for tax-exempt status of charities filing under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code are now quicker and easier for as many as 70 percent of all applicants, says the IRS.
According to an IRS press release, organizations with gross receipts of $50,000 or less and assets of $250,000 or less are eligible to use a new three-page application form. The standard form is 26 pages.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said, “It didn’t matter if you were a small soccer or gardening club or a major research organization. [The standard form] process created needlessly long delays for groups, which didn’t help the groups, the taxpaying public or the IRS.” According to the IRS, the new shorter form will “speed the approval process for smaller groups and free up resources to review applications from larger, more complex organizations while reducing the application backlog.”
There is a concern groups not having true charitable purposes may use the tax-exempt status to make political contributions without having to reveal the original source of the funds. In a TIME magazine article published July 13, Koskinen dismissed the idea that “if someone has been forced to do more paperwork they’re going to be less nefarious.”
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