It is that time of the year for many nonprofit organizations – Form 990 filing day! This year the traditional filing date – May 15th – falls on a Sunday. Therefore, organizations have until Monday, May 16th to file for the 2015 tax year.
Here are some details straight from the Internal Revenue Service.
Form 990 is an annual information return required to be filed with the IRS by most organizations exempt from income tax under section 501(a), and certain political organizations and nonexempt charitable trusts. Parts I through XII of the form must be completed by all filing organizations and require reporting on the organization’s exempt and other activities, finances, governance, compliance with certain federal tax filings and requirements, and compensation paid to certain persons. Additional schedules are required to be completed depending upon the activities and type of the organization.
One change for 2016 surrounds filing Form 990-N or the e-postcard.
In 2015, nonprofits filed Form 990-N on the Urban Institute’s website and not the IRS domain. However this year, the link to file is on the IRS website. Because of the change, ALL organizations who file using Form 990-N will need to register at IRS.gov even if they filed using the Urban Institute site in 2015. The new link for the IRS registration for the form 990-N can be found is here.
Kelly Phillips Erb has more details over at Forbes.
If you need more time to file any of the form 990-series other than the form 990-N, you can obtain an extension. There is no extension available for the form 990-N (e-Postcard) but there is also no penalty if you file the form 990-N late. Remember, however, failure to file any of the form 990 series (990, 990-EZ or 990-N) for three consecutive years will result in an automatic loss of tax-exempt status. If that happens, your organization will not be eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions and your organization will have to file for reinstatement – even if the organization was not originally required to file an application for exemption. Reinstatement can be time consuming and expensive.
Some folks, including tax professionals, who are still not familiar with the updated rules are advising small organizations that they don’t have to file if their receipts are minimal. This is not true. You must file unless otherwise exempt.