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Have You Heard About Form 8940?

Form 8940, Request for Miscellaneous Determination, has been around since 2011 and has always been a wonderful option for organizations looking to make a change in their “foundation status.”  The form has been used by higher education institutions who were originally classified as churches or “public support organizations” to re-classify as “Schools” (under I.R.C. Section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii)).

The form has historically provided a streamlined/expedited/more direct method for requesting these changes with the Internal Revenue Service.  Now, the form has been updated and made “electronic.”

Beginning April 3, 2023, IRS has made available the electronic version of the Form 8940 that exempt organizations use to make miscellaneous determination requests online at The IRS provided a 90-day grace period during which it continued to accept paper versions of Form 8940 (Rev. 6-2011); however, that ended on July 2, 2023 - after this grace period the Form 8940 must be submitted electronically.

The form (in its former print-only format) included various “miscellaneous requests” in Part II.  Those remain in the electronic format.  Among these are:

·       Reclassification of foundation status

·       Change in Type (or initial determination of Type) of a section 509(a)(3) organization

·       Exemption from Form 990 filing requirements

·       Advance approval that a potential grant or contribution constitutes an “unusual grant”

·       Advance approval of scholarship procedures described in section 4945(g)

For most requests, your institution will be required to attach additional information – documentation, board minutes, and/or a schedule from other IRS forms (i.e., 990, 990-PF, etc).

In addition to the miscellaneous requests that were previously made using Form 8940, the following miscellaneous requests are now also made on Form 8940:

  • Government entities requesting voluntary termination of exempt status under section 501(c)(3) (previously a letter request)

  • Canadian registered charities requesting inclusion in Tax Exempt Organization Search database (TEOS) of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions (Pub. 78 data) or a determination on public charity classification (previously a letter request)

  • Private foundations giving notice only of intent to terminate private foundation status under section 507(b)(1)(B) (previously provided on Form 8940 or by general correspondence)

To submit Form 8940, you must:

1.     Register for an account on

2.     Enter “8940” in the search box and select Form 8940.

3.     Complete the form.

There is a user fee for filing the form which varies depending upon which request is being made/conveyed.  Although not generally needed as an “everyday IRS form,” you and your tax advisors should be aware of Form 8940, its opportunities, and the fact that it is now eFile only!


Written by

David C. Moja, CPA

The information provided herein presents general information and should not be relied on as accounting, tax, or legal advice when analyzing and resolving a specific tax issue. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, please consult with competent accounting, tax, and/or legal counsel about the facts and laws that apply.

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