An IRS official stated yesterday that the Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division (TE/GE) is making progress on clearing the substantial backlog of applications for status as a tax-exempt organization.  Donna Hansberry, the TE/GE deputy commissioner, told an audience at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum that TE/GE is “on pace to close almost all the aged inventory by the end of calendar year 2014.”  In the Pension Protection Act of 2006, Congress provided that an entity’s status as an exempt organization would be automatically revoked if the entity failed to file required information returns for three consecutive years.  Ms. Hansberry said that the increased application volume caused by organizations whose status had been automatically revoked seeking reinstatement, coupled with reduced staffing levels at TE/GE, had created a substantial backlog, with 15% of outstanding applications as of the beginning of 2014 being filed in 2012 or earlier.  Hansberry said that a streamlined process under Rev. Proc. 2014-11, together with improved efficiency, has allowed TE/GE to begin reducing the backlog.