Protect Your Nonprofit with Professional Nonprofit Tax Returns
Fortunately, as a nonprofit, you likely won’t have to pay any taxes, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about nonprofit tax returns.
Even if you aren’t required to pay any taxes, the IRS still requires that you communicate with them annually by filling out nonprofit tax returns anyway. In order to ensure that these forms are filled out correctly, it’s a good idea to seek professional help from a CPA. They can help you choose the right form for your situation, and they can help you fill it out correctly, so you can continue to enjoy your company’s nonprofit status.
Ensuring compliance for all entities and foundations
Various nonprofit foundations may have multiple entities, which makes filling out paperwork a real hassle. If you don’t want to discover that you owe taxes at the end of the year, it is important that you hire a professional.
There are a number of returns to choose from that include:
- 990 and 990-EZ – These forms are primarily for nonprofits with gross receipts of more than $50,000.
- 990-N – This form is primarily for nonprofits with gross receipts of less than $50,000.
- 990-PF – All private foundations fill out this form.
Some entities, like churches and state institutions, may be required to fill out different paperwork, or no paperwork at all. A professional CPA can make sure you choose the right form and fill it out properly.
Make sure your tax exempt status isn’t revoked
Unfortunately, many nonprofits assume that they do not have to fill out nonprofit tax returns at the end of the year. This is a serious mistake, as it can ensure your tax exempt status is revoked. After three years of failing to file a return, the IRS will revoke your status, which means you’ll be required to pay taxes in the future. With no appeals process, this is a very costly mistake.
If you’ve failed to file a return in the past, or if you want to ensure that your nonprofit continues to file paperwork properly throughout the upcoming years, contact us. We can tell you what paperwork to fill out, help you fill it out properly, and ensure that it is submitted on time.
Nonprofit tax returns FAQ
When is the 990 form due?
Unlike other tax returns that are due April 15th of each year, nonprofit tax returns follow a very different schedule, depending on your particular foundation’s official year.
The form is due 5 months after your particular calendar year on the 15th of the month. For example, if the last day of your calendar year ends on December 31st, your 990 form would be due on May 15th. If instead you follow a fiscal year calendar that ends on July 31st, your form won’t be due until December 15th.
What happens if I fail to file my nonprofit’s tax return?
If you don’t file the proper paperwork, or if you file it late, you may have to pay hefty fees. In addition, you may also be required to fill out more paperwork, depending on the nature of your business.
If you fail to file three years in a row, the IRS will revoke your nonprofit status entirely, leaving you liable to pay taxes in the upcoming years. If your status is revoked, there is little to nothing you can do about it because there is currently no appeals process. That’s why it’s so important to fill out nonprofit tax returns on time, each and every year.
Can the general public see the information in a nonprofit tax return?
Yes. It is important for the general public to be able to see your nonprofit tax returns. They should be available for inspection during regular business hours, but many entities and foundations choose to place their 990 form and tax exempt status online for easy viewing.
How do I maintain my nonprofit status?
First, your organization should not attempt to influence legislation, which includes campaigning for or against certain candidates. A nonprofit should remain completely neutral in this regard. If it does not abstain from these kinds of activities, its nonprofit status can be revoked.
No part of the organization should work for the benefit of the private sector. None of its income should benefit any shareholders or individuals. If a transaction of this kind does take place, an excise tax may be enforced.
Because there are so many more additional considerations, it’s important that you speak with a licensed CPA to ensure your nonprofit continues to enjoy its tax exempt status. You can also click here to learn more.
What types of nonprofits aren’t required to fill out a 990 form?
Not all nonprofit organizations are required to fill out the 990 form. A few that are exempt include:
- Faith-based organizations that include religious schools, missions, and missionary organizations
- Subsidiaries of other nonprofits
- Some government corporations
- State institutions that provide essential services
It is important to check with the IRS or your personal CPA to ensure that your particular organization doesn’t need to fill out any paperwork each year.