Charity

The following statement was released on the IRS website this afternoon. It is a statement by IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman encouraging small tax-exempt organizations who missed the May 17 filing deadline to still file:

Now that the May 17 filing deadline has passed, it appears that many small tax-exempt organizations have not filed the required information return in time. These organizations are vital to communities across the United States, and I understand their concerns about possibly losing their tax-exempt status.

The IRS has conducted an unprecedented outreach effort in the tax-exempt sector on the 2006 law’s new filing requirements, but many of these smaller organizations are just now learning of the May 17 deadline. I want to reassure these small organizations that the IRS will do what it can to help them avoid losing their tax-exempt status.

The IRS will be providing additional guidance in the near future on how it will help these organizations maintain their important tax-exempt status — even if they missed the May 17 deadline. The guidance will offer relief to these small organizations and provide them with the opportunity to keep their critical tax-exempt status intact.

So I urge these organizations to go ahead and file — even though the May 17 deadline has passed.

Filing a tax return for the small organizations is easier than you’d think. It just takes a few minutes to fill out the electronic notice Form 990-N (e-Postcard) . This is available for small tax-exempt organizations with annual receipts of $25,000 or less.

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In IR-2010-59 , the IRS reminds many tax-exempt organizations that May 17th is the deadline to file their Form 990 or risk losing tax-exempt status.

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 mandates that all non-profit organizations, other than churches and church related organizations, must file an information form with the IRS.  This requirement has been in effect since the beginning of 2007, which made 2009 the third consecutive year under the new law. Any organization that fails to file for three consecutive years automatically loses its federal tax-exempt status.

Form 990-series information returns are due on the 15th day of the fifth month after an organization’s fiscal year ends. Many organizations use the calendar year as their fiscal year, which makes May 15 the deadline for those tax-exempt organizations. May 15 falls on a Saturday this year so the deadline this year is actually Monday, May 17.  Organizations can request an extension of their filing date by filing Form 8868 by the original due date. Absent a request for extension, there is no grace period from filing by the original due date.

Small tax-exempt organizations with annual receipts of $25,000 or less can file an electronic notice Form 990-N (e-Postcard). This asks for a few basic pieces of information. Tax-exempts with annual receipts above $25,000 must file a Form 990 or 990-EZ, depending on their annual receipts. Private foundations file form 990-PF.

Any tax-exempt organization that has not filed the required form in the last three years automatically will lose its tax exempt status effective as of the due date of the annual filing. Under the law, the IRS does not have discretion in this matter.

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Although tax season is “officially” over (not counting extensions), its not to early to start thinking about next tax season. At the turn of each new year, many people set new years resolutions such as “I am going to start exercising more” or “I am going to drop 30 pounds.”  Well what about setting a “Tax Season” resolutionto donate to charity this year. Not only will you feel good about giving to a good cause, the Internal Revenue Code permits, in some cases, a charitable deduction on your income tax return for doing so (Disclaimer: Not all charities or taxpayers qualify for a charitable deduction. You should discuss the qualification of any donation with your Accountant).

If you don’t already have a favorite charity to donate to my fiance is trying to raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Please click on her donations page to learn more and how you can help. Thank you.

Here is a brief summary of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America:

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to finding the cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It was founded in 1967 by Irwin M. and Suzanne Rosenthal, William D. and Shelby Modell, and Henry D. Janowitz, M.D.

Four decades ago, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation created the field of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis research. Today, the Foundation funds cutting-edge studies at major medical institutions, nurtures investigators at the early stages of their careers, and finances underdeveloped areas of research. Educational workshops and symposia, together with our scientific journal, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, enable medical professionals to keep pace with this rapidly growing field. No wonder the National Institutes of Health has commended the Foundation for “uniting the research community and strengthening IBD research.

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