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Nonprofit Law/nonprofit not tax exempt form


If a nonprofit corporation does not plan to apply for tax exempt status within the 15 month period, what federal tax form needs to be filed?

I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions relating to IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. Therefore, I am assuming that you are referring to a 501(c)(3) organization.

Links to Form 990/990-EZ/990-N and instructions are available at
and explains which 990 series return to file.

Note that, if you want donors to be able to deduct donations and not to have your sales and other income, if any, your organizing document would need to state that it is organizing under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). You would have at least 3 directors, with control of the
board not in related persons.

The organization must have the required clauses in the organizational document even if your organization is not required to apply for federal exemption if you want the benefits of being an exempt organization. See, starting in the middle column of page 26 of Publication 557  under "Organizational Test". Samples start on page 77. Also you must operate as a 501(c)(3) organization (see that publication 557 for the general rules).

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

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Harvey Mechanic


I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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