First, IRS does consider you as qualified.(c) Charitable contribution defined.
--For purposes of this section, the term “charitable contribution” means a contribution or gift to or for the use of--(1)
A State, a possession of the United States, or any political subdivision of any of the foregoing, or the United States or the District of Columbia, but only if the contribution or gift is made for exclusively public purposes.(2)
A corporation, trust, or community chest, fund, or foundation--(A)
created or organized in the United States or in any possession thereof, or under the law of the United States, any State, the District of Columbia, or any possession of the United States;(B) organized and operated exclusively for
religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes,
or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals;(C)
no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual; and(D)
which is not disqualified for tax exemption under section 501(c)(3) by reason of attempting to influence legislation, and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.A contribution or gift by a corporation to a trust, chest, fund, or foundation shall be deductible by reason of this paragraph only if it is to be used within the United States or any of its possessions exclusively for purposes specified in subparagraph (B). Rules
similar to the rules of section 501(j) shall apply for purposes of this paragraph.
26 U.S.C.A. § 170 (West)
I've underlined the applicable part of the tax code above.
So, legally, you satisfy the definition of non-profit under Title 26, the internal revenue code
BUT you're not in the system yet SO you need to be aware of a couple of things:27th month rule
In order to receive a tax-exemption dating from the date of your incorporation you need to file the 1023 within 27 months of your incorporation.
If you file after 27 months, your exemption will only be effective from the application's postmark date.
You can file for an extension of the 27 month deadline by attaching to your 1023 a statement providing the reasons why you failed to complete the 1023 application process within the 27-month period after your incorporation.
You can find the acceptable reasons in the INSTRUCTIONS for form 1023. They include bad advice and information from a lawyer, accountant, or IRS employee.
Filing the 990
If your organization claims to be tax-exempt and intends to file your 2300 with the IRS by the end of the 27th month you must file Form 990 (or 990-EZ or 990-N as appropriate) during the 27 month period, even though you have not received determination yet. (The determination letter from IRS is your best PROOF of tax exempt status).
Larger nonprofits that have gross receipts of more than $50 ,000 have to file Form 990 or 990-EZ.
Smaller non-profits having gross receipts of less than $50,000 should file the 990-N.
I spoke with a tax law professor of mine about this. and filing the 1120 only applies when you have LOST tax exempt status.
By the way ... NOT filing the 990 is one of the best ways to do that.
When you do the 990, you'll notice that the receipts will be indicated as either related to the charity or not. Related receipts, (donations that meet with your articles and by laws, for the operation/construction of the school, for example, are related) will not be taxable.
Hope this clears it up for you.