As the U.S. government shutdown continues into day fifteen with no end in sight, many anxious startup organizations are wondering how the shutdown will affect their applications currently under review by the IRS.  Having already waited months for a determination letter, should you now expect even longer delays?  And if so, how long?

From what we can gather the IRS is not taking any customer service phone calls regarding applications for exemption, nor are they processing actual applications at this time.  The delay is almost certainly adding to the ever-present log jam of applications piling up on various agent’s desks, and we would expect there to be even longer wait periods once the government shutdown comes to an end.

For those of you already waiting on your organization’s approval letter, it is likely that any progress toward a final determination has been stopped for now, to be continued once the shutdown is over and IRS employees are back at work.  Whether or not the IRS will put in new systems to expedite applications once the shutdown is over is unknown, but seems unlikely based on past history.

If you are a new organization ready to file your F1023 application, we recommend that you go ahead and file your application as quickly as possible in an effort to reserve your place in line.  Just be sure to temper your expectations about how long it will take to obtain tax exempt status.

If you have other questions about filing your Form 1023 application, please give us a call .  Always glad to help!