On July 26, 2010, the I.R.S. announced a one-time filing relief for small organizations that failed to file informational returns for three consecutive years. This applies only to organizations that can file Form 990-N or Form 990-EZ. Organizations that are required to file Forms 990 or 990-PF are not eligible for this one-time filing relief and their exempt status is automatically revoked if they have failed to file for three years.
The original May 15, 2010 deadline left many organizations at risk of losing their nonprofit status. The I.R.S. determined that there had not been adequate information provided prior to the deadline and that thousands of small organizations were at risk. The new deadline is October 15, 2010. This is a one-time relief program and a needed break for small nonprofits.
If your organization normally has gross receipts less than $25,000, you can retain your status by filing Form 990-N on the I.R.S. website at IRS.gov. This e-Postcard is due every year and cannot be filed until after your year end. The e-Postcard must be filed by the fifteenth day of the fifth month after your year end. A December 31st year end would be due on May 15th.
Per the I.R.S. instructions, completing the e-Postcard requires the eight items listed below:
1. Employer identification number (EIN), also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
2. Tax year
3. Legal name and mailing address
4. Any other names the organization uses
5. Name and address of a principal officer
6. Web site address, if the organization has one
7. Confirmation that the organization’s annual gross receipts are normally $25,000 or less
8. If applicable, a statement that the organization has terminated or is terminating (going out of business)
The I.R.S. has plans to send out reminder notices. However, if your address has changed since your last filing, you may not receive this reminder. Again, if you have not filed for three consecutive years, you will loose your exempt status. Income you received after they have revoked your status (for not filing) could be taxable and if you intend to continue as an exempt organization, you will need to reapply for exempt status.
The I.R.S. has posted a list of organizations that have not satisfied annual filing requirements, according to their records. You should check this list to be sure you are not on it! The list is sorted by State and can be downloaded in Acrobat or Excel. If you find your name on the list and you feel that you have satisfied your filing requirements, call the I.R.S. at 1-877-829-5500. The I.R.S. website has information and guidance to insure that you are in compliance and what to do if you are not.
Action is required by October 15, 2010. Take advantage of this extension, if you need to, and be sure that you are in compliance with your filing requirements.
Kathy E. Hostetler, CPA