On July 1, 2014, the IRS introduced a new application form to allow small charities to apply for tax exempt status under IRC Section 501(c)(3).

Form 1023-EZ is only three pages long, and organizations with gross receipts of $50,000 or less and assets of $250,000 or less are eligible to use it.  Charities filing the 1023-EZ, provided everything is in order, will know of their status within a couple of weeks (that’s right, weeks, not months).

Compare this with the regular Form 1023 which is 26 pages long and asks for a laundry list of information on the charity, the board of directors and officers.  Many applicants using the Form 1023 didn’t hear back from the IRS for many months, sometimes as long as nine, which can seem like an eternity when in fundraising mode.

The new 1023-EZ Form must be filed online, see here.  The instructions include an eligibility checklist.