January 27, 2021

It’s Tax Season For Nonprofits Too

Non Profit Consulting and Training - Wendy Biro-Pollard

Just because your organization is a nonprofit does not mean that it can sit back and ignore the tax filing season. In particular, it’s very important for small nonprofits to understand that while they may not have had to file anything with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the past, they now may have a new form to file, called the e-Postcard (or Form 990-N).The Pension Protection Act requires small organizations that normally have $25,000 or less in gross receipts to file an annual electronic notice with the IRS. This means that many small organizations — like local sewing leagues, sporting clubs and food pantries — may need to file the e-Postcard to protect their tax-exempt status. There are, however, some exceptions to this filing requirement. For example, an organization that is part of a group return or is a church, its auxiliary or an association of a church is not required to file the e-Postcard.

The first e-Postcard filings were due in 2008. For many organizations that missed this deadline, there are only two years left to start complying with the new rule. It is critical to note that organizations that do not file for three consecutive years will automatically lose their tax-exempt status. If you work with a nonprofit organization — especially a small one that never had to file with the IRS before — check with your leadership team to see if they are aware of this new form. And help spread the word about the e-Postcard to other small nonprofits in your town.

How to File
The e-Postcard can only be filled out and filed online, but you do not need any special software to do so. You just need access to a computer and the Internet. Visit www.irs.gov/charities and click on “Annual Electronic Filing Requirement for Small Exempt Organizations” to learn more about the e-Postcard and to access the form.

It requires a few pieces of identifying information about your organization and should only take a few minutes to fill out. But it is important to take the time to do so in order to protect your organization’s tax-exempt status.

Know Your Deadline
Unlike personal income taxes, the e-Postcard does not have a universal deadline. Instead, it depends on the closing date of each organization’s tax year, so your deadline may be different from another nonprofit in your town.

The rule is that the e-Postcard is due by the 15th day of the fifth month after the close of the organization’s tax year. For example, if your tax year closes on Dec. 31, the form is due by the following May 15.

More Information

For the latest information for tax-exempt organizations, sign up for the EO Update, a regular e-newsletter delivered directly to your inbox, at www.irs.gov/charities. To get more information about maintaining tax-exempt status, go to the IRS Web-based training program, www.stayexempt.org.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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