Most federally tax-exempt organizations, with the exception of churches and state institutions are required to file Form 990. May 15 marks the due date for filing Form 990 filing requirements for organizations with a December year-end.
This is a very important issue for groups required to file the document, especially those at risk of losing tax-exempt status. Nonprofit organizations that fail to file the annual report for three consecutive years are automatically revoked of their federal tax exemption by law.
All too frequently, organizations make the mistake of waiting until the last second and hastily putting together the Form. The IRS recently published some reminders cautioning people on mistakes to avoid, including not marking Social Security numbers on the Form 990 or any other personally identifiable information that could potentially lead to identity theft.
Once submitted, the documents are public record, which is why the marking “Open to Public Inspection” is printed on the top right hand corner of the first page of Forms 990, 990-EZ and 990-PF. The marking is quite literal, because information about donors, clients, benefactors, and administrators, can fall into the wrong hands.
Other parts of the Form required by law to be made public include schedules and attachments filed with the document. Organizations are encouraged to e-file their tax forms, as this lowers the risk of including unneeded personal information and identity theft.
The annual form reports information about the mission, programs and finances of the filer. Not sure what the Form 990 is or if your organization is required to file it? Contact Salmon Sims Thomas and speak with one of our experienced nonprofit accountants.