Little Rock We all know all about the Internal Revenue Service, right? The very mention of the IRS causes virtually all grown men and women to duck-and-cover. In fact, many Americans are somewhat confused and think that possibly the government has gone to war against the IRS somewhere in the Middle East, but that’s ISIS, not IRS.
We also have heard about the on-going controversy, regularly brought back up to boil and stirred heavily about the IRS nonprofit tax exemption department. Recently there was yet another spate of publicity in the concentrated hunt for witches over there when someone thought they might have figured out how to access some missing emails that conspiracy-minded citizens believe may have been caught in some Rosemary Woods type of Bermuda Triangle mystery gap deleting god knows what from the files of the former, now resigned, head of the tax exempt division. The Republicans believe that the IRS went hard on Tea Party tax exemption applications. The Democrats have established that the IRS also went hard on lib-left groups. Congressman Darryl “Step Away from the Car” Issa has tried repeatedly to get someone to care about his investigation, and it’s a basic beltway back-and-forth.
Well, it seems in the midst of all of this mayhem somehow the IRS started taking some steps to streamline the process of actually getting a tax exempt designation as a 501(c)3 for small startup nonprofits. You know groups that want to fix a playground or organize sweet summer socials, like I don’t know, maybe tea parties?
Here’s how it works. Rather than being an almost 30-page application which some lawyers, being on the time clock obviously, say can take 100 to 150 hours of time to complete, the application has shrunk down to only three pages, taking only about the same number of hours to finish some of the same lawyers guesstimate, unhappily. Rather than it being forever and a day to get a response, some groups report having used the new procedure and heard within a week from the IRS that they were approved, which is almost unbelievable.
But, the whole point was to get rid of the backlog, separate the wheat from the chaff, and focus, focus, focus on what the IRS’s real job is supposed to be. Maybe they are going to use the extra time and person power to go after businesses which are not paying taxes, trying to go to foreign countries to evade taxes, and every other kind of scheme imaginable. Just saying.
An outfit can take advantage of this new IRS procedure if they have less than $50000 of gross income and less than $250,000 in total assets. Since most organizations applying for a 501c3 status are brand spanking new outfits many, if not most, groups could easily meet these lowball numbers. Of course you have to be nonprofit, too. This is not an Airbnb “sharing economy hustle, OK?
These windows open and shut all of the time in Washington and with the IRS. If you’ve been caught on the wrong side of the street before, this might be just the alley to hurry down right now to secure an exemption, if that’s what you want and need for your organization, cause, or idea, and if your outfit is all about for education, welfare, and charitable purposes.