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May 15 Non-Profit Tax Filing Deadline

On May 8, 2017, the IRS issued IR-2017-97, a reminder that many tax-exempt organizations have a May 15 deadline to file their annual Form 990-series information returns. By law, 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 they are required to file.

The IRS also cautioned against including Social Security Numbers on the Form 990. By law, both the IRS and most tax-exempt organizations are required to publicly disclose most parts of Form 990 filings, including schedules and attachments. Public release of SSNs and other personally identifiable information about donors, clients or benefactors could give rise to identity theft.

The IRS release also provides information on what to file and how to check tax-exempt status online. The IRS offers an online search tool, Exempt Organizations Select Check, to help users more easily find key information about the federal tax status and filings of certain tax-exempt organizations, including whether organizations have had their federal tax exemptions automatically revoked.

Be aware that the IRS’s online filing system has strict format requirements. If you have problems with an online filing, check the following:

  1. Make sure all other browsers and tabs are closed.
  2. Ensure that you are not using a computer on a shared network. Try to register on a non-networked computer.
  3. Do not use a smart phone to make the filing.
  4. Do not include any punctuation, such as commas or periods.
  5. Do not add any extra spaces.
  6. When listing the entity’s website address, start with just “www.” Do NOT include “http://” as part of the URL.
  7. If your filing appeared to have gone through but you did not receive an email confirmation, check your spam or junk email folders.

If you have continued difficulty when trying to file online, you may call the IRS for assistance at 877-829-5500.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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