United States

IRS releases electronic Form 1023

Rev. Proc. 2020-08 reflects updated procedures for submission


On Jan. 31, 2020, the IRS released the revised electronic Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and related instructions. In connection with the release of the online form, the IRS also released an advance copy of Rev. Proc. 2020-08, which provides guidance with respect to the new filing process and updates Rev. Proc. 2020-5.

Effective Feb. 1, 2020, the applications for recognition of exemption on Form 1023 must be submitted electronically online at pay.gov. However, the IRS will continue to accept completed paper Forms 1023 accompanied by the correct user fee postmarked on or before May 1, 2020.

The new electronic Form 1023 is substantially similar to the paper version; however, there are new questions and a reordering of existing questions. Pay.gov has a preview of the electronic Form 1023 available to view without requiring a user to login. However, not all questions appear in the preview and only show when triggered with an appropriate ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer. 

Regarding the change, Tammy Ripperda, Commissioner of the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities division said, “Filing electronically reduces errors, and we believe this will help provide a smoother application process for those seeking tax exemption. As we’ve seen with the 1023-EZ, we believe this change will help with application processing time and help with our wider efforts to improve our work with the tax-exempt community.”


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