Tax-exempt organizations that are required to file Form 990-series information returns with the IRS must file annually by the 15th day of the fifth month following the end of the organization's fiscal year. For most tax-exempt organizations, the fiscal year ends on December 31 each year, so annual filings are due by May 15.
Understanding the Various Forms and Filing Requirements
The Form-990 series includes several different forms; the form a particular tax-exempt organization must file will depend on the size of the entity's average annual gross receipts, assets, and the type of organization.
A private foundation must file form 990-PF. This is a slightly different form that what is required for other tax-exempt entities. Small tax-exempt organizations whose average annual gross receipts are $50,000 or less can file a simple e-Postcard (Form 990-N) in just a few minutes.
Larger organizations, defined as those whose average annual gross receipts are greater than $50,000, are required to file either a Form 990-EZ or a Form 990 (depending on the organization's receipts and assets.)
Don't Include Anyone's Social Security Number or Other Non-Public Information
On May 8, 2017, the IRS issued a notice to tax-exempt organizations reminding filers not to include any social security numbers on the filings. With the growing prevalence of, and threat of, identity theft, organizations need to be conscious about safeguarding social security numbers and other non-public information about a non-profit company's officers, directors, employees and donors.
Most information included on Form 990 filings is made publicly-available, including attachments to the filings. When a non-profit organization includes social security numbers or other non-public identifying information, it is inadvertently putting the owner of that information at risk.
Reduce Risk by Filing Electronically
Those in charge of filing their organization's Form 990 return this year can speed up the process and reduce risk of inadvertent disclosure by filing the annual return online, through an IRS authorized e-Filing provider. Filing online is not only fast and easy for the filer; the IRS also provides an acknowledgement of receipt.
What Happens if a Tax-Exempt Organization Misses their Filing Deadline?
Sometimes, tax-exempt organizations forget about their IRS filing requirements. After all, as a tax-exempt organization, there are no taxes to pay with the filing, so submitting a form can lose some of the urgency other companies may feel come tax season every year.
However, it is important to understand that there are potential consequences of failing to file. Organizations required to file Form 990-series returns, and who fail to do so for three years, will lose their federal tax exemptions.
To learn more about filing requirements for tax-exempt organizations, contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Lampert P.A. today in West Palm Beach, FL at (561) 689-9407.