There are many misconceptions about what kind of nonprofit organization has to file Form 990 and what deadline they have to meet. Nonprofits that are not recognized by the IRS are not required to file any sort of annual information return. Tax-exempt nonprofit organizations (besides certain church-affiliated and governmental organizations) are required to file these returns, and have a specific deadline that they must meet when filing them.

Form 990 Deadline

A charitable nonprofit must file their 990, 990 EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF forms with the IRS by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of the nonprofit’s fiscal year. This number will fall on May 15th if a nonprofit organization follows the standard January 1 – December 31 fiscal year.

Penalties for Failing to File

A nonprofit can receive a penalty for failing to file their 990 form on time. An organization with gross receipts less than $1,000,000 for the tax year that files their Form 990 after the due date with no reasonable cause or explanation will receive a $20 per day penalty until the form is filed. This penalty can either reach $10,000 or 5% of an organization’s gross receipts- the smaller number is used. If an organization’s gross receipts exceed $1,000,000, this penalty can reach a maximum of $50,000.

A nonprofit of any size that fails to file their 990 form 3 years in a row will automatically have their tax-exempt status revoked, and they may be required to pay corporate income tax for their nonprofit (because they are no longer eligible for contributions that are tax-deductible.)

Luckily, there is a Form 8868 that can be used to request an automatic 3-month extension of filing time. However, it is the recommendation from our File 990 experts to always file on time and don’t risk losing exempt status.  

File Your 990 Forms On Time With No Penalties With

Here at File 990, we walk you through your 990 Form filing and make sure that you complete it in a timely manner with no penalties. File 990 is the leading nonprofit tax e-filing software that allows organizations to securely and easily file 990-N and 990 EZ forms online. To learn more about the intricacies of filing 990 forms and plenty of other useful information on running a nonprofit, read more of our blogs.