Beware the EZ Way Out

IRS mulls new 1023-EZ rules for 501(c)(3)’s.

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

It’s safe to say that CPA firms tend to love IRS Form 1023-EZ, the simplified form for application for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. Introduced in 2014, the form was EZ on the nascent, smallish not-for-profit and on the CPA trying to help them get started.

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This easier version of Form 1023 was a good and necessary idea. The IRS was way backed up on approvals of the original application. Approval was taking an average of 315 days. To the delight of do-gooders, wanna-be do-gooders, and outright frauds, virtually all 1023-EZs are approved in short order. Approvals were and still are passed down in just a couple of weeks.

Trouble is, a lot of those expedited approvals were for organizations that didn’t qualify for 501(c)(3) status.