Great news from the IRS! (There’s a phrase you don’t hear too often!) The agency has made sweeping changes to the 501(c)(3) application process so that it’s now significantly easier and less expensive for most parent groups to apply.

Starting July 1, 2014, groups with actual or anticipated gross annual receipts of $50,000 or less can apply for 501(c)(3) status with a new, simplified form called Form 1023-EZ.

This new application is remarkably different from the 25-plus pages in Form 1023 that all parent groups (and other charitable groups) had previously been required to complete to be recognized as a federally tax-exempt organization.

The filing fee for Form 1023-EZ has been dropped to $275. As of March 2018, any organization filing the longer Form 1023 will pay a flat $600 fee.

If you need help, we’re here to help you and we also recommend you go to the IRS website to find out more about how the 1023-EZ process works. The PTO Startup Toolkit also has lots of info on getting organized and obtaining 501(c)(3) status, including line-by-line instructions for Form 1023-EZ and Form 1023.

Originally posted in 2013 and updated regularly.