May 15 is almost here. This is the deadline by which, if an organization is on the calendar year, it must file its IRS Form 990-series information return. If an exempt organization didn’t file its 990-series form for 2010 and 2011, missing this year’s deadline could be its final act as an exempt organization.
Almost all tax-exempt organizations are required to file annual Form 990-series information returns with the IRS. If an organization fails to file these returns for three consecutive years, it automatically loses its federal tax-exempt status. No matter how small the organization is, it must file a return. Organizations with gross receipts of $50,000 or less may file an electronic notice called the Form 990-N (e-Postcard). The form is simple and will take about 1 minute to complete. An organization that has annual average receipts above $50,000, it must file either a Form 990 or Form 990-EZ depending on its gross receipts and assets. Private foundations must file a Form 990-PF regardless of their receipts or assets.
If a calendar year organization isn’t ready to file its Form 990 or 990-EZ, then it must file for an automatic 3-month extension NOW. Form 990-N filers can’t get an extension for filing that form, but check out the link above before you panic as we promise that the form is really simple. If a 990N filer still wants an extension, it must both file for an extension, then file, a Form 990 or 990-EZ by the extended deadline.
Talk to your accountant or tax professional ASAP if you have any questions.