You are here:

Nonprofit Law/501(c)(5) Conversion


I am working on an entity that appears to be misclassified as a 501(c)(5) and really should be a 501(c)(3).  What would be the process in converting this entity.  My understanding is that the Articles and Bylaws would need to change and be refiled as well as a new Form 1023.  Would this be a brand new entity or would I have to go back to inception to provide the IRS with past fianancial data.....the organization is over 30 years old so the latter would be impractical.  Thank you.

The Articles of Incorporation would need to be amended and filed with the State.  Then the bylaws would be amended.  The the organization would file with the IRS Form 1023 application for exemption as a 501(c)(3) organization. You would have the same entity and the IRS will only require the last 4 years financial figures. See the instructions to the Application for
Exemption which is available at and on page 12 in the first column:
--- Start of Excerpt ---
f you have been in existence for 4 or more years, complete the A. Statement of Revenues
and Expenses for your most recently completed year and each of the three years immediately before it for a total of four years of financial information.
---End of Excerpt---

You would then give your projected financial figures to evidence that you would be acting as a 501(c)(3) organization.

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.  

Nonprofit Law

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. 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.

©2017 All rights reserved.