Until 1969, there was no legal requirement that an organization must file with the IRS to obtain tax-exempt status. This status was automatic if the organization could demonstrate that it met the requirements set forth in Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. In other words, an organization claiming tax exempt status was presumed to be qualified unless the IRS determined to the contrary. However, in 1969, Section 508 was added to the tax code, specifying that no organization would be treated as tax-exempt unless it applied to the IRS for tax-exempt status. Thus Form 1023 was born as the tax-exempt status application.
Some exceptions were carved out, however. Three classes of organizations do not have to apply for tax exempt status: Read more