This form is not necessarily difficult for a person to fill out. It mostly just takes time and diligence. The issue comes in choosing exactly how to answer the questions. Word choice becomes a significant concern as a wrong word could lead to an interpretation beyond the scope of the statutes permitting tax exempt status, the 501(c) exemptions.
Having an attorney draft the document may be a bit expensive for non-profit startups as depending on the attorney and the situation it could cost thousands of dollars. The value is in getting someone with experience with the non-profit rules to draft the document and the appendices, which will increase the likelihood of the request to be a non-profit is granted.
The other major concern in filing a Form 1023 is the decision to become a non-profit. Again, this is where an attorney could be helpful. Attorney’s who practice heavily non-profit arena are able to help identify if and to what extent a venture should be included in a Form 1023. Specifically, concerns like if the goals of the business mesh and are consistent with the IRS standards. Depending on the situation, expert advice can be helpful.
Overall, the Form 1023 is more of an irritant than a true obstacle. It takes time and patience to complete, but it is not designed to be difficult. Instead, the goal is to allow individuals to identify for the IRS reasons to grant the tax exemption and reasons why not to approve such an application. Using an attorney for this maybe expensive for this purpose, however, there are benefits. Good luck on becoming tax exempt!