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Some tax-exempt organizations must file by May 15

Certain tax-exempt organizations must file 990-series returns by Wednesday, May 15, the deadline for organizations operating on a calendar year.

IRS building sign
Sign in front of IRS building in Washington, D.C.

By law, the Internal Revenue Service and most tax-exempt organizations are also required to publicly disclose most parts of 990 filings, but release of Social Security Numbers and other personally identifiable information about donors, clients or benefactors could give rise to identity theft.

Tax-exempt forms that must be made public by the IRS are clearly marked “Open to Public Inspection” on the top right corner of the first page. These include the 990, the 990-EZ, the 990-PF and others.

The IRS also notes that the error rate for e-filed returns is only 1 percent. E-filing also provides acknowledgment that the IRS has received the return and reduces processing time.

Exempt organizations with average annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less can file a 990-N (e-Postcard), which requires only a few pieces of information. Organizations with average annual gross receipts above $50,000 must file a 990 or 990-EZ, depending on their receipts and assets. Private foundations must file a 990-PF.

Organizations that fail to file annual reports for three consecutive years will see their federal tax exemptions automatically revoked as of the due date of the third year for which they are required to file.

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