The estimated half a million small non-profits
that were on track to lose their
tax exempt status this year for failing to file IRS Form 990-N,
Several days after the May 17 filing deadline passed, Doug Shulman,
Commissioner of the IRS, announced that the IRS would help small
retain their tax-exempt status, promising "additional guidance
in the near future," and an opportunity to keep their tax-exempt status intact.
So far, the additional guidance has not appeared, but, long story short, it is
not too late to preserve your organization's exempt status by filing your annual
The 990-N was formally launched February 4, 2008.
It is not really a
"form." It is a website that asks for information about the organization.
You will need your EIN to
sign on, and once you have signed on, your
organization's name, EIN and tax year are already entered; you cannot
change these. The website asks for any other name(s) under which the
organization does business, the organization’s
mailing address and Internet
Web site address (if any), and the name and address of a principal officer.
site also asks you to confirm that the organization has not gone
out of business, and that gross receipts have averaged
$25,000 or less.
Like the Form 990 and 990-EZ, the 990-N is due no later than the
15th day of the fifth month
after the end of an organization's tax year.
Although there is no monetary penalty for failing to file
organizations that do not file for three years in a row will have their tax
exempt status revoked!
To be reinstated, an organization will have to
file a new exemption application and pay the applicable User Fee.
Congress imposed this new requirement because of concerns that small
organizations, who have had no annual
filing requirement in the past,
have not kept the IRS up-to-date on address and other changes. An
to-date IRS database is important both for IRS administrative purposes,
and for donors who want to make sure
they are contributing to