Category Archives: IRS Form 990

How to File the Form 990 Extension – Form 8868

May 15th is fast upon us and with that we get a lot of calls asking us how to file an extension for the 990 series of informational returns from our website. Unfortunately we do not offer that service at this time but here is some information that will hopefully get your organization through the process.

File by Mail

Download and fill in the Form 8868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return from the IRS website and mail it to:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Ogden, UT 84201-0045

File Electronically (Preferred)

You can have your accountant file the form for your organization electronically through their software package.

Or

You can choose one of the IRS Exempt Organizations Modernized e-File Providers

Typically the e-File websites are quite straight forward and only ask you a few questions about your organization and contact information.  Also, most are free or at a low cost to your organization depending on your revenue.

Once you have secured your organizations extension approval for the Form 990 then you can come back to our website and preview the state specific instructions for the charity registration renewal or annual update forms.   Most states do require you to individually file an extension of time request with their state charity office if your organization will also require more time to file your renewals/updates with them.

Here is a link to our previous blog: State Charity Renewal Due Dates

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or support@SimpleCharityRegstration.com.

 

 

New Form 8868 for 2017 – 6 Month Automatic Extension of Time to File

990 Filing Due Dates
Tax Year Fiscal Year End Date 990/990EZ/990N 6-month Extension *
2016 12/31/2016 5/16/2017 11/15/2017
2016 1/31/2017 6/15/2017 12/15/2017
2016 2/28/2017 7/17/2017 1/16/2017
2016 3/31/2017 8/15/2017 2/15/2017
2016 4/30/2017 9/15/2017 3/15/2017
2016 5/31/2017 10/16/2017 4/16/2018
2016 6/30/2017 11/15/2017 5/15/2018
2016 7/31/2017 12/15/2017 6/15/2018
2016 8/31/2017 1/16/2018 7/16/2018
2016 9/30/2017 2/15/2018 8/15/2018
2016 10/31/2017 3/15/2018 9/16/2018
2016 11/30/2017 4/16/2018 10/17/2018
* Extension can be filed on line through an IRS Authorized e-File Provider, or by fax or mail.
See the IRS e-file for Charities and Non-Profits page for more details.

State Charity Registration – Which Fiscal Year Should We File?

One of the most common questions we hear from new state charity registration filers is in which fiscal year they should file. This is not a problem for renewals, because it is clear they are reporting on the previous year. But, should an organization that has never filed in a state use the current fiscal year or the previous one?

Unlike many other questions involving state charitable solicitation registration, this one is more or less straightforward. You should file using the year of your most recently filed tax form, remembering that the states are expecting organizations to register prior to solicitation.

Let’s go through some scenarios to see what this means.

  1. A new charity that has not yet completed a fiscal year or filed an IRS 990, 990-PF, or 990-EZ would file projected information for the current fiscal year and then send the filed form to the states once it’s ready.
  2. An existing charity that has not solicited in a state in the past but anticipates doing so will register based on their most recently completed fiscal year.
  3. An existing charity that has already solicited in a state but is only recently aware of the state’s charitable solicitation requirement would file based on their most recently filed IRS 990, 990-PF, or 990-EZ. Note that some states may require you to back-file a few years. (See our blog on noncompliance).
    1. In this scenario, because the states require registration prior to solicitation, if you are near the end of your fiscal year, you would use your prior year form and then renew in a few months when your renewals are due.

Thankfully, with Simple Charity Registration you can register more easily and copy your data from one year to the next. Straightforward and Simple!

 

Non-profit Registration Compensation and Your Organizations Key Employees

Welcome to SimpleCharityregistration.com.

In 2008, the IRS expanded the reporting requirements for nonprofit compensation, particularly of key personnel. The new rules added a process by which executive compensation is determined, added reporting to include compensation that results from related organizations, and gives a monetary and responsibility threshold for defining “key employees.” Although this is not new information, it is still confusing for new and continuing organizations alike. For instance, you may be asking yourself, “What is a ‘key employee?’”

A “key employee” is one who fits all three of the following criteria:

$150,000 Test - The employee receives reportable compensation from the organization and all related organizations in excess of $150,000 for the calendar year ending with or within the organization’s tax year.

Responsibility Test- At any time during the calendar year ending with or within the organization’s tax year the employee must: Have responsibilities, powers, or influence over the organization as a whole that is similar to those of officers, directors, or trustees; Manage a discrete segment or activity of the organization that represents 10% or more of the activities, assets, income, or expenses of the organization, as compared to the organization as a whole; or have or share authority to control or determine 10% or more of the organization’s capital expenditures, operating budget, or compensation for employees.

Top 20 Test- The employee is one of the 20 employees other than officers, directors, and trustees who satisfy the $150,000 Test and Responsibility Test with the highest reportable compensation from the organization and related organizations for the calendar year ending with or within the organization’s tax year.

For further reference, see Part VII of the IRS 990 Instructions. Also, Guidestar publishes many informative blogs on IRS reporting requirements. And, of course, Simple Charity Registration is also always here to help.

As always please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800)780-6027 or Support@SimpleCharityRegistration.com.

Thanks for watching!

Need More Time?? File an Extension – IRS Form 8868

Welcome to SimpleCharityRegistration.com.

Many people do not know the difference between the First and Second IRS Form 8868 Extensions for Nonprofit Organizations. Today, we will explain them.

First Extension Request

The first extension request for the IRS Form 990, 990-EZ or the 990-PF is granted “automatically.” This means you don’t have to give a reason for needing the extension nor will it require a signature. If the Form 8868 Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return is completed properly and filed on time, which would be May 15th for the calendar year filer, the extension will automatically be granted and your Form 990 due date will automatically be extended to August 15th. This extension request, in many cases, can be forwarded along with the state charity registration extension requirements to the proper state charity registration office for an extension of time in submitting your renewal or annual financial requirements.

Second Extension Request

The second 3-month extension request is not “automatic” and your organization may only request a second 3- month extension if the first extension was properly filed and accepted by filing the Form 8868. When requesting an additional three month extension a detailed explanation is required and it must be signed by an authority. Also, your organization should file it well before the extended due date in the case your request for the extension of time is rejected by the IRS. If approved, the second extension will then be November 15th. No further extensions are allowed and if either of these dates falls on a weekend or federal holiday the due date will become the following day.

Sign in or create an account with SimpleCharityRegistration.com to see if any of these extensions apply to the state where your organization’s charity registration is due.

As always please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800)780-6027 or Support@SimpleCharityRegistration.com.

Thanks for watching!

IRS Warns Organizations Filing Form 990-N of Possible Error Messages  

The IRS just sent the following notice to its EO (Exempt Organization) update subscribers.

Some Form 990-N Electronic Filing System (e-Postcard) users may see error messages

The Form 990-N online filing system moved from Urban Institute to IRS.gov in February. While the new system has been successful, a very small percentage of users see site errors while registering or submitting the form. The IRS offers this advice:

  • Review the steps listed on How to File Form 990-N. Pay particular attention to the “text character” restrictions.
  • The Form 990-N (e-Postcard) User Guide will explain each step in the filing process.
  • If site errors are unresolved, call TE/GE Customer Account Services at 877-829-5500. A representative will gather your Form 990-N information for filing on your organization’s behalf.
  • Organizations will not be penalized for filing late if it was caused by website issues. Organizations should continue efforts to file, even if they are late.

For more on filing Form 990-N, see the Form 990-N page on IRS.gov.

Follow this link to become an EO subscriber and receive important information regarding exempt organizations like we did.

Your Nonprofit Organizations Form 990: What Are They Looking at?

Today I found a fantastic resource that GuideStar has put together called “Highlights of IRS Form 990”.  It gives an overview of the 12 sections of the Form 990 without leaving you feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the form.  What really drew me in was that the presentation was done from the perspective of the reviewer.  What is the importance of each section?

These are some of the things I found interesting:

How to determine what form year you want to look for from the fiscal year and other goodies that can be found in the header section.  It’s not just where you put the address!! (Pt 3 – Video Tutorial)

Brief explanation of what is the difference between unrelated business income (UBI) and revenue and the proper places to report those incomes including Form 990-T (Pt 4)

Discussion on how your mission statement sets the tone for the rest of the document and flows into Section III: Statement of Program Service Accomplishments. I have new respect for that mission statement!! (Pt 5)

In Part VI: Governance, Management, and Disclosures – I was interested to learn how I could use this form to make the non-profit stronger by implementing some of policies discussed this section of the 990 (Pt 7)

Brief explanation on who needs to be included in Section VIII: Compensation of Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, Highest Compensated Employees, and Independent Contractors.  This is always a meaty subject!! (Pt 8)

If you have never worked with the 990 or even if you have it was a nice half hour discussion on the importance of the information that your organization will be presenting to the IRS and interested parties.   It is a good resource to show to new board members and accounting staff who may have not worked prior in the non-profit area.  Plus the presenter had a pleasant voice that kept me engaged!!

The overview can be downloaded and saved as a pdf or they have a complimentary video tutorial that can be found on their website as well as on YouTube and is broken into 10 parts for a total run time of less than 40 minutes.  That is probably my favorite feature as I can listen and learn “one bite at a time”!!

Calendar Year Nonprofit Filers – No Time to Spare!!

Can you believe that it’s almost May 16th?  The financial reporting due date falling on the weekend might have bought you an extra day but it still means that for calendar year organizations their IRS 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N forms are due today!!  If that wasn’t “taxing” enough it also means that for many non-profit organizations that their state charitable solicitation renewals and financial reports are also due today.  Not to worry we have been preparing all year for you!!

Twelve states require calendar year filers to submit their state charity registration renewals or annual financial reports 4.5 months after their fiscal year end which is normally on May 15th.  Although some states do offer some relief, it comes in the form of extensions of time but the requirements vary for each state.  Some only offer extensions online through their own portals like Colorado, Hawaii and Ohio while others like California and New York just require that you send the IRS 8868 Extension Form with your renewal once it is complete. While still others require that you fax, mail or e-mail a form or letter to their offices some with and some without the IRS 8868 Extension Form.

Calendar Year Files State Charity Form Due Dates 4.5 months after FYE
State Filing Type State Extension Allowance Where to get help?
California Registration Renewal up to two – 3 month extensions Instructions on SimpleCharityRegistration.com
Colorado Registration Renewal up to two – 3 month extensions Colorado Online Portal
Hawaii Annual Financial Report up to two – 3 month extensions Hawaii Online Portal
Kentucky Registration Renewal automatic 6 month extension Letter & Instructions on SimpleCharityRegistration.com
Massachusetts Registration Renewal up to two – 6 month extensions Letter & Instructions on SimpleCharityRegistration.com
New Hampshire Annual Financial Report 6 month extension Form & Instructions on SimpleCharityRegistration.com
New York Annual Financial Report automatic 180 day extension Instructions on SimpleCharityRegistration.com
North Carolina Registration Renewal automatic 60 day extension Letter & Instructions on SimpleCharityRegistration.com
Ohio Registration Renewal up to two – 6 month extensions Ohio Online Portal
Oregon Annual Financial Report up to 180 day extension Letter & Instructions on SimpleCharityRegistration.com
South Carolina Registration Renewal up to two – 3 month extensions Letter & Instructions on SimpleCharityRegistration.com
Virginia Registration Renewal up to two – 3 month extensions Form & Instructions on SimpleCharityRegistration.com

 

Here are some of the ways we’ve been preparing:

  1. We’ve created a website called com where you can store, update and access all your organizations state charity registration information year after year. All the forms, copies of letters and instructions can be found all in one place!!  Your own Simple Charity Registration account!!

Once you have created an account we can help you file extensions in the states where you might need a little more time. Then again if you think you are ready you can print and file your renewal registrations or annual financial forms right away!!

  1. We’ve also created blog posts to help you prepare for registration from our own insights or from places with helpful information like:

How Do I Register if My Financials Aren’t Ready?

State Charity Registration Renewals and Annual Financials: Do You Need an Extension?

The Elephant in the Room: Preparing for Your State Charity Registrations (Part I & 2)

  1. Lastly we have created a special registration package for you organization!! During the month of May we are offering the NOLO’s Nonprofit Fundraising Registration: The 50-State Digital Guide  free to anyone who purchases our “All States” package. The one-year subscription to the digital guide is a $125 value. This state-by-state reference guide was prepared by our partners at NCR and gives guidance on such issues as strategies to reduce your registration requirements, the IRS role, and internet fundraising rules.

Now your ready for this!!  Our team is available to answer any questions you have about using SimpleCharityRegistration.com or getting started call us at 800.780.6027 or e-mail us at support@simplecharityregistration.com.

 

 

 

Annual Informational Return Basics for Nonprofits – IRS Forms 990-N, 990-EZ, 990, and 990-PF

Why am I Filing a Tax Return if my Organization is Exempt?

The series 990 returns are not tax returns used to assess a tax rather they are annual informational returns.  They are used for providing the IRS and the public with information about your organization’s programs, activities, relationships, transactions, and governance, in addition to revenues, expenses and assets.

What Form Should my Organization File?

Gross receipts less than $50,000 file a 990-N (also called a Postcard) electronically.

Note: most states require you to file a 990, 990-EZ or their state form which contains similar information with your charity registration or renewal forms so be prepared to provide that level of information.

Gross receipts less than $200,000 and Total assets less than $500,000 file a 990-EZ or 990.

Gross receipts greater than $200,000 or Total assets greater than $500,000 file a 990.

Private Foundations should always file the 990-PF regardless of their financial status.

For further reference, see IRS 990 Instructions or Guidestar publishes many informative blogs on IRS reporting requirements and SimpleCharityRegistration.com is also always here to help.

What Counts as Compensation on my Nonprofit Organizations Form 990 or 990-EZ? Get Help from the IRS

May 15 is quickly approaching and many nonprofit organizations are busily trying to prepare their IRS 990 or 990-EZ forms. If you are having difficulties understanding how to report compensation, you may want to join the IRS Webinar on Reporting Compensation on Form 990 or 990-EZ. This webinar will cover:

  • How to report compensation
  • How to complete Form 990 and Form 990-EZ
  • What has to be reported
  • Other compensation
  • Exceptions
  • Highest compensated employees

What is Complicated About Reporting Compensation?

In 2008, the IRS expanded the reporting requirements for nonprofit compensation and particularly of key personnel. The new rules added a process by which executive compensation is determined, added reporting to include compensation that results from related organizations, and gives a monetary and responsibility threshold for defining “key employees.”

Although this is not new information it is still confusing for new and continuing organizations alike. For instance, what is a “key employee?”

A “key employee” is one who fits all three of the following criteria:
  1. $150,000 Test: Receives reportable compensation from the organization and all related organizations in excess of $150,000 for the calendar year ending with or within the organization’s tax year.
  2. Responsibility Test: At any time during the calendar year ending with or within the organization’s tax year:
    1. Has responsibilities, powers, or influence over the organization as a whole that is similar to those of officers, directors, or trustees;
    2. Manages a discrete segment or activity of the organization that represents 10% or more of the activities, assets, income, or expenses of the organization, as compared to the organization as a whole; or
    3. Has or shares authority to control or determine 10% or more of the organization’s capital expenditures, operating budget, or compensation for employees.
  3. Top 20 Test: Is one of the 20 employees other than officers, directors, and trustees who satisfy the $150,000 Test and Responsibility Test with the highest reportable compensation from the organization and related organizations for the calendar year ending with or within the organization’s tax year.

For further reference, see Part VII of the IRS 990 Instructions. Also, Guidestar publishes many informative blogs on IRS reporting requirements and Simple Charity Registration is also always here to help.