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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Question for lawyer with experience in nonprofits

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Question for lawyer with experience in nonprofits. I'm working on filling out a Form 1023 to file for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. What are the pluses or minuses of filing form 2848 and having a lawyer represent us? Our organization thought that the fiscal sponsorship relationship we had covered all of our tax reporting needs by including us in the 990s, but we've discovered that because we had to get our own EIN and bank account, we were supposed to file income taxes. Is it best to have a lawyer or an accountant represent us in this case?


Thank you for your question. 1023 applications are a very complicated document which can take a lot of work to complete for a successful application. Hiring an attorney or an accountant that specializes in 501(c)(3) law can be beneficial and will most likely increase your chances of a successful application.

That being said, if you are sophisticated in your knowledge of business issues and have relatively good organization and writing skills, it is not an impossible feat to complete the application without the help of a professional. In my past experience, a 1023 application with all required exhibits takes approximately 80-100 hours to put together and is composed of at least 500 total pages. This is especially true where you have to create written procedures for your organization which do not exist yet but are needed for the application.

In the end, it comes down to the money that your organization is willing to invest in professional assistance. You may be able to find an attorney or an accountant to perform these services pro bono if they believe in your cause and are willing to lend a hand.

Please let me know if you have any question or would like to discuss this matter further.

Best Regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

500 pages! When are written procedures needed?

Written procedures will be needed based on the exact nature of your charity and require an analysis that cannot be performed here. These are things like "petty cash", "election of officers", "by-laws", etc.

In short, I can't tell you here what written procedures will be needed. But as you go through the application, there will be references which request whether or not you have certain procedures. At that point, you need to do some research and see what other organizations like yours use for procedures, draft them and have them approved by your board of directors, then attach them as exhibits to the application.

It is a daunting task, and it might be wise to get a local attorney to do it for you.

Best Regards,
TexLaw and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Best of Luck!

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