October 15 is what most people consider the final day to file your Form 990 Tax Forms (see below for the proper forms). The reason there is no definitive date is because each non-profit has different calendar years, but you should consider that as THE deadline. Hundreds of thousands of small nonprofit organizations are at risk of losing their tax-exempt status because they failed to file required returns for 2009, 2010, and 2011. Each chapter in TKE needs to file, but you can get help from your alumni board of advisors, accounting professionals who are Fraters, or the Offices of the Grand Chapter. The chapters can preserve their status by filing returns under the one-time relief program offered by the Internal Revenue Service.
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The IRS posted the names and last-known addresses of these at-risk organizations, along with guidance about how to come back into compliance. The organizations on the list have return due dates between May 17 and Oct. 15, 2010, but the IRS has no record that they filed the required returns for any of the past three years.
"We are doing everything we can to help organizations comply with the law and keep their valuable tax exemption," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. "So if you do not have your filings up to date, now's the time to take action and get back on track."
Two types of relief are available for small exempt organizations - a filing extension for the smallest organizations required to file Form 990-N, Electronic Notice(e-Postcard) , and a voluntary compliance program (VCP) for small organizations eligible to file Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. Learn more about these.
Small organizations required to file Form 990-N should go to the IRS Web site, supply the eight information items called for on the form, and electronically file the form by Oct. 15. That will bring them back into compliance. Under the VCP, tax-exempt organizations eligible to file Form 990-EZ must file their delinquent annual information returns by Oct. 15 and pay a compliance fee. Details about the VCP are on the IRS website, along with frequently asked questions.
This relief is not available to larger organizations required to file the Form 990 or to private foundations that file the Form 990-PF.
Organizations that have not filed the required information returns by that date will have their tax-exempt status revoked, and the IRS will publish a list of these revoked organizations in early 2011. Donors who contribute to at-risk organizations are protected until the final revocation list is published.
The Pension Protection Act of 2006 made two important changes affecting tax-exempt organizations, effective the beginning of 2007. First, the law mandated that all tax-exempt organizations, other than churches and church-related organizations, must file an annual return with the IRS. The Form 990-N was created for small tax-exempt organizations that had not previously had a filing requirement. Second, the law also required that any tax-exempt organization that fails to file for three consecutive years automatically loses its federal tax-exempt status. The IRS conducted an extensive outreach effort about this new legal requirement but, even so, many organizations have not filed returns on time.
If an organization loses its exemption, it will have to reapply with the IRS to regain its tax-exempt status. Any income received between the revocation date and renewed exemption may be taxable.
Adapted from an article from Accountingweb.com. Be sure to follow the latest TKE News with the RSS Feed, on Twitter or the official TKE Facebook Fan Page (Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity). Submit your news today.