Filing Deadline Approaches for Tax-Exempts

Filing Deadline Approaches for Tax-Exempts

Many tax-exempt organizations have a filing deadline for Form 990-series information returns on May 16 -- and the IRS cautioned these groups not to include Social Security numbers or other unneeded personal information in their filings.

Organizations that fail to file annual reports for three consecutive years will see their federal tax exemptions automatically revoked as of the due date of the third required filing. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 mandates that most tax-exempt organizations file annual 990-series information returns or notices with the IRS. Churches and church-related organizations are not required to file annual reports.

The IRS generally does not ask organizations for Social Security numbers, and cautions filers not to provide them on the form. By law, both the IRS and most tax-exempt organizations are required to publicly disclose most parts of 990 filings, including schedules and attachments. Public release of Social Security numbers and other personal ID information about donors, clients or benefactors could give rise to identity theft.

The IRS also urges tax-exempt organizations to e-file to reduce risk of inadvertently including Social Security numbers or other personal information. Tax-exempt forms that must be made public by the IRS are clearly marked “Open to Public Inspection” in the top right corner of the first page.

Small tax-exempt organizations with average annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less may file an electronic notice called a Form 990-N (e-Postcard), which asks organizations for a few basic pieces of information. Tax-exempt organizations with average annual gross receipts above $50,000 must file a Form 990 or 990-EZ depending on their receipts and assets. Private foundations must file Form 990-PF.

Organizations that need additional time to file a Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF may obtain an automatic three-month extension. An organization may also request an additional three-month extension but must also show reasonable cause for the additional time; they should use Form 8868 and file by the due date of the return. No extension is available for filing the 990-N (e-Postcard). Source:  Accounting Today.