WASHINGTON — As part of the administration's efforts to bring all available resources to bear to support state and local partners impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced an expedited review and approval process will be offered for organizations seeking tax-exempt status in order to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The IRS also continues to encourage people to use existing organizations currently working on immediate aid efforts.

Organizations should apply for tax-exempt status by filing IRS Form 1023 and write at the top of the form "Disaster Relief, Hurricane Sandy." The IRS will give such applications expedited attention and ensure they meet the legal requirements for tax exemption. Organizations seeking to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy that have already submitted an application can fax a request labeled "Disaster Relief, Hurricane Sandy" that includes the organization's name, Employer Identification Number, contact name and phone number to 513-263-4554 in order to be given the same expedited handling.

The IRS reminds people that existing charitable organizations, including churches and other places of worship, are frequently able to administer relief programs more efficiently than newly formed organizations, since they tend to already have fund-raising and distribution infrastructures in place.

The web site of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Government's main Web portal at FirstGov.gov both offer lists of organizations that provide support to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The IRS anticipates new charities will form to address specific needs of disaster victims. The IRS will continually update its on-line search feature, Select Check, that allows taxpayers to determine if a charity has IRS-approved tax-exempt status.

In addition to Form 1023 for applying for recognition for tax exemption, 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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