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Nonprofit Law/Automatic revocation and re-establishing exempt status


Our booster club to benefit a high school was established as an unincorporated association in the 1990's.  Our exempt status was automatically revoked in 2011 for not filing the 990N post card. There doesn't seem to be any record of a notice or correspondence from the IRS to start filing the 990N in the booster club records.  The address on the IRS letter establishing the EIN number did not have the street number of the school address.  The revoked status was discovered by doing a non-profit exempt check on the IRS website.
This is a small organization  whose gross receipts have been under $15,000 for several years.  The user fee to file to reestablish exempt status is $400.  
Also, our state law now requires that school support organizations become incorporated.  Would it be better to file for retroactive reinstatement and once that is established file to incorporate with the state and then file for exempt status for the new entity?  Or is it possible to just start as a new corporation without having the revoked status become an issue either in the incorporation process or the application for exemption of the corporation with the IRS?
 I am concerned about the cost of filing two user fees (one for the reinstatement and one for the new corporation). A $400 user fee is alot of money for this organization whose gross receipts this year are probably going to be around $3,000.  Would there be any chance of getting a partial fee waiver in this situation?  Any advice on the best way forward would be greatly appreciated.

I suggest starting a new Tennessee nonprofit corporation. Use a new name and you may not then be considered a successor organization which would require that you complete some additional filing other than the recent 1023-EZ that was established by the IRS this year.

Note, though that the IRS Publication 557 "Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization" at in the right column on page 25 under "Organizations Not
Required to File Form 1023" discusses who does not need to file and among those is "Any organization (other than a private foundation) normally having annual gross receipts of not more than $5,000.  These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3)."

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


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.

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