We have applied for IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status for our animal welfare organization that is a non-profit in the state of Ohio. It has been one year and the application is still awaiting being assigned to an IRS caseworker. I am aware that once 501(c)(3) status is granted, it will be retroactive to the date of the application 9September 2012). Can we utilize a tax exempt status now if we say the approval is pending and if we complete the appropriate tax return when due? Thank you!