Many tax-exempts owe their 990s soon

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The IRS is warning nonprofits and their advisors that many tax-exempt organizations have a filing deadline for 990-series information returns next Monday, May 15.

Form 990 information returns and notices are due on the 15th day of the fifth month after an organization’s tax year ends. For calendar-year organizations, May 15 is the deadline to file for 2016.

By law, 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 year they are required to file.

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

Organizations that need additional time to file can obtain an automatic six-month extension using Form 8868. The request must be filed by the due date of the return. However, no extension is available for filing the 990-N.

The service also noted that it generally does not ask organizations for Social Security numbers, and cautioned filers not to provide them on the 990. By law, both the IRS and most tax-exempt organizations are required to publicly disclose most parts of Form 990 filings, including schedules and attachments. The IRS also urges tax-exempts to e-file to reduce the risk of inadvertently including Social Security numbers or other unnecessary personal information.

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