IRS Automatic Revocation of Nonprofit Tax Exemption

Organizations that are required to file an IRS Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF or submit an annual electronic notice on Form 990-N are subject to automatic revocation if the exempt organization fails to file for three consecutive years.  The consequence of automatic revocation can be economically devastating for struggling non-profit organizations since the organization may be required to file a Form 1120 corporate income tax return or Form 1041 Estates & Trusts return and pay applicable taxes on income received.


Organizations previously eligible to file Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N for each of the three prior consecutive years that have lost their tax-exempt status may be eligible for retroactive reinstatement by filing for recognition of tax exemption on the required Form 1023 or Form 1024 and paying the appropriate user fee no later than 15 months of the date on the organization’s Revocation Letter (CP-102A) or the date the organization appeared on the Revocation List on the IRS Website, whichever is later.   This process is called the “Streamlined Retroactive Reinstatement Process”. 


The IRS will not impose a penalty for failure to file annual returns for the three consecutive taxable years that caused the revocation if the organization is successfully reinstated under the Streamlined Retroactive Reinstatement Process and files paper Forms 990-EZ for all 3 previous taxable years.  For organizations eligible to file Form 990-N, the organization is not required to file a prior year Form 990-N or Form 990-EZ to avoid penalties if reinstated.  

Organizations should contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible if they do not qualify for or need assistance complying with the requirements under the Streamlined Retroactive Reinstatement Process.  

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