IRS Releases New Interactive Form 1023

The IRS has released a new interactive Form 1023 (i1023) which can be used to apply for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3). The revision date on the interactive form (and the current PDF versions of Form 1023 on the IRS website) is December 2013. However, there are no changes to the Form 1023 from the previous June 2006 version. The only difference is a notice on the December 2013 version that the new interactive form is available at and special instructions in red telling users to attach separate sheets for Part IV (Narrative Description of Activities) and to skip Part X, Line 6a about Advance Rulings. The current Instructions to Form 1023 on the IRS website are the June 2006 version.

Nolo books that provide instructions to the June 2006 version of the Form 1023 application can still be used to complete the December 2013 Form 1023. All the sample text, explanations, sample bylaws, and examples in the Nolo books remain relevant for anyone who wants help completing the form.

Anyone applying for 501(c)(3) status should use the December 2013 version of the 1023 application. There are three different versions of the current (December 2013) Form 1023 available on the IRS website:

  • the Interactive Form 1023
  • a Standard PDF Form 1023, and
  • an Accessible Form 1023 (a plain pdf version).

The interactive form cannot be filed online and there is no reduced fee for using it. It is not the Cyber Assistant online program that the IRS attempted to launch for several years. When you complete the interactive version, it must be printed out and filed by mail with the IRS in the usual manner. The main advantage of the new interactive form is that it has pop-up information and automatically takes users to where they need to provide supplemental information if it is required. However, it is still in the early stages and you may experience some user issues with it, including problems opening and completing the Schedules.

Instead of using the interactive form, you can choose one of the current PDF versions of Form 1023. The Standard PDF Form 1023 has a few helpful features that aren't in the Accessible Form 1023. You can complete the PDF form (Decempber 2013 version) following the Form 1023 instructions (2006 version).

There are new special instructions to Form 1023 (Notice 1382, dated October 2013). These are the same as the prior instructions (October 2012 version) except they were revised to reflect changes for nonprofits seeking reinstatement and to delete information about transitional relief for smaller organizations which expired.