IRS Will Give Relief to Tax Exempt Organizations that Missed the May 17, 2010, Tax Return Filing Deadline

Tax exempt organizations that earned less than $25,000 of annual income where not previously required to file a tax return with the IRS.  The tax law changed and all tax exempt organizations, including those with incomes less than $25,000 were required to file an IRS form 990 by May 17, 2010, or risk losing their tax exempt status.  Now, the IRS Commissioner posted a notice on the IRS website that says the IRS will provide guidance to organizations that missed the deadline.  Here’s the Statement of IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman on the Filing Deadline for Small Charities:

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.

Related Information:

For access to the e-Postcard and further details, see Annual Electronic Filing Requirement for Small Exempt Organizations, Form 990-N (e-Postcard).

Three Reasons Better Contracts Can Help Nonprofits

Charity Lawyer:  , Lindsey Harris, attorney with the Make a Wish Foundation, writes about the importance of charities using good contracts.  “From protecting your brand to purchasing the goods needed to deliver your mission, contracts are an essential part any nonprofit business.  Without solid contracts–the kind you can understand and actually use to protect your organization from broken promises and even litigation–meeting your mission can be an uphill battle.  If you’re tired of having the same arguments with vendors and service providers or if you’re unsure of how to protect your brand, here are a few reasons why you should add  ‘getting good contracts in place’ to the top of your to-do list:”

Top 15 Non-profit Board Governance Mistakes  “This list was started as the inaugural post to CharityLawyer Blog. The post struck a nerve, was mentioned by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Nonprofit Quarterly, and numerous bloggers and twitter users. San Francisco tax-exempt organizations lawyer and publisher of the Nonprofit Law Blog, Gene Takagi, reviewed the list and added five more governance mistakes from his own experience.”