In light of recent terrorist attacks and the quantity of new organizations wishing to provide relief to victims, the Internal Revenue Service has announced plans to streamline the process by which organizations can achieve tax-exempt status.
Newly-formed charity organizations wishing to apply for tax-exempt status must still fill out Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption from Federal Income Tax Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. To expedite the application process, organizations should write "Disaster Relief, Sept. 11, 2001" across the top of the application, and include a cover letter explaining the circumstances justifying the request. The explanation should include mention of the recent disaster as well as the reason for urgency in processing the application.
A new IRS publication, Disaster Relief, Providing assistance through charitable organizations, is available on the IRS Web site. The publication will be available in print soon.