The IRS is reminding tax-exempt organizations that many must file 990-series information returns by May 15. The service also cautioned these groups against including Social Security numbers or other unneeded personal information on 990s and instead to e-file.

Form 990 information returns and notices are due on the 15th day of the fifth month after an organization’s tax year ends. Many organizations use the calendar year as their tax year, making Thursday, May 15, the deadline for 2014 forms.

The IRS generally does not ask organizations for SSNs and the 990 instructions caution filers not to provide them on the form. Both the IRS and most tax-exempt organizations are legally required to publicly disclose most parts of form filings, including schedules and attachments. Public release of SSNs and other personally identifiable information about donors, clients or benefactors could give rise to ID theft.

The IRS also urges tax-exempt organizations to file forms electronically in order to reduce the risk of inadvertently including SSNs or other unneeded personal information.

Organizations that fail to file annual reports for three consecutive years have their federal exemptions automatically revoked as of the due date of the third required filing. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 mandates that most tax-exempts file annual 990-series informational returns or notices with the IRS. The law also imposes an annual filing requirement on small organizations. Churches and church-related organizations are not required to file annual reports.

Small tax-exempt organizations with average annual receipts of $50,000 or less may file the e-notice 990-N (e-Postcard). Tax-exempts with average annual receipts exceeding $50,000 must file a 990 or 990-EZ depending on their receipts and assets. Private foundations file a 990-PF.

Organizations that need additional time to file a 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF may obtain an extension. No extension is available for filing the 990-N.

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