In a recent announcement the IRS reminded tax-exempt organizations that many have an obligation to file Form 990 by May 15th. In general, Form 990-series returns must be filed by tax-exempt organizations by the fifteenth day of the fifth month following the end of an organization’s tax year. Because it is very common for organizations to synchronize their tax year with the calendar year, this means that the filing deadline for many organizations will come on May 15th, 2015.
Many people can, rightfully, find the voluminous Tax Code and myriad of IRS forms to be extremely confusing and difficult to navigate. However the tax benefits your organization currently receives or is eligible for is dependent on filing necessary paperwork and ensuring that the information contained within is accurate and complete. The Hoffman Law Firm can assist your tax-exempt organization in satisfying all aspects of this obligation.
What organization must file Form 990 and what information does it require?
If your organization has average annual receipts of $50,000 or less, it can satisfy its filing obligation online. Form 990-N is the electronic version of FORM 990 and what is known as an e-postcard. At this level, the form requires basic information. The basic information the organization must provide includes:
- The organizations employer identification number (EIN)
- The tax year the filing is for
- Alias or other names in use by the organization
- The principal officer’s name and address
- Proof that the business’ gross receipts did not exceed $50,000
If the organization’s gross receipts exceeds $50,000 then the organization must satisfy its filing obligation by using Form 990 or 990-EZ. Private foundations that must file Form 990 should make use of Form 990-PF. It is important to note that while an extension can be requested for organizations filing Form 990, 990-PF, or 990-EZ an extension cannot be granted for organizations required to file on the e-postcard, Form 990-N.
However the IRS has also cautioned organizations against including certain sensitive personal information that it does not require. Chief among those warnings is the IRS’ direction to tax-exempt organizations to refrain from including a Social Security number. One of the reasons behind this request is because federal law requires the IRS and tax-exempt organizations to make these filings and their attachments public. The public reason of personally identifiable information — including Social Security numbers and other unique personal information – can be used in identify theft and for other fraudulent criminal endeavors. Additionally, for those who can file electronically, the IRS recommends this method not only because of the increased speed and convenience, but also because the form has built0in safeguards to reduce the risk of transmitting unnecessary sensitive information.
What if my tax-exempt organization fails to file required forms?
If this is the first time that your organization has failed to file one of the forms in the 990 series, you may not notice an immediate impact. However, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires that most tax-exempt organizations file a Form 990 information return each and every year. Furthermore federal law provides that for organizations required to file, failure to file for 3 years will result in an automatic revocation of its tax-exempt status. The lapsing of tax-exempt status can have series impacts on an organization and potentially threaten the organization’s continued viability.
How can I check the status of my filing?
Regardless of whether you have filed the information return on your own or with the assistance of a tax professional, the IRS offers an online search tool to check on your organization. The Exempt Organizations Select Check tool can assist searchers in locating their organization’s important tax filing information. Additionally, the IRS frequently publishes a list of organizations that have had their tax-exempt status revoked. If your organization is listed as one that has had an automatic revocation, you must file an application for reinstatement and pay the appropriate fees.
The Hoffman Law Offices can assist your tax-exempt organization in remaining compliant with its required tax filings. If you have concerns about past handling of your taxes, our tax professionals can review your financials and other records and provide targeted legal guidance. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation call the Hoffman Law Offices at 800-897-3915 or contact us online.