November 8, 2012

IRS Speeds New Charity Exemptions for Hurricane Relief

Existing organizations may be better positioned to help storm victims

The Treasury Department and the IRS on Wednesday announced an expedited review and approval process for organizations requesting tax-exempt status in order to assist people affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The announcement said groups applying for tax-exempt status should file IRS Form 1023 and write “Disaster Relief, Hurricane Sandy” at the top of the form. This will ensure the application receives prompt attention and meets legal requirements for exemption.

Organizations that have already applied for tax-exempt status can receive expedited handling by faxing a request labeled “Disaster Relief, Hurricane Sandy” to +1-513-263-4554. The request should include the group’s name, employer identification number, contact name and phone number.

The IRS noted that existing charitable organizations, including churches and other places of worship, frequently can administer relief programs more efficiently than newly formed organizations, since they tend to have fundraising and distribution infrastructures in place.

The website of the Federal Emergency Management Agency  and the U.S. government’s main web portal at FirstGov.gov both list organizations providing support to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The IRS also offers Publication 3833, “Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance Through Charitable Organizations,” which provides information about establishing a new charitable organization.

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