Just when you thought you’d learned everything you needed to know about starting a nonprofit, you’re stumped: What the heck in an electronic postcard, anyway?
You’ve turned your dream of starting a charity into a reality. You’ve established your non-profit corporation, obtained your 501(c)(3) status, and started doing the work you’re passionate about doing. Yet by putting in the hours, organizing your goals, and moving products and people, you’ve forgotten one important thing: tax paperwork.
You’re not paying taxes on your donations, gifts-in-kind, or other receipts. But you do have to file the correct tax paperwork on time. When do you file? What information does the Internal Revenue Service need from you, anyway? Where do you even start?
The electronic postcard, better known as the e-Postcard, is for any non-profit with receipts less than $50,000 per year. If your organization has annual receipts under $50,000, you may choose to file the Form 990 EZ or the full Form 990, but you’re not required to.
The electronic postcard will do the trick. So, what’s next?
First, know your filing deadline.
It’s due the 15th day of the fifth month after the close of your tax year, so it’s not the same for every nonprofit. In fact, it depends on when you’ve chosen to end your tax year.
According to IRS.gov, “Form 990-N is due every year by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your tax year. You cannot file the electronic postcard until after your tax year ends.
Example: If your tax year ended on December 31, the e-Postcard is due May 15 of the following year. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is the next business day.
If your 990-N is late, the IRS will send a reminder notice to the last address we received.
While there is no penalty assessment for filing Form 990-N late, organizations that fail to file required Forms 990, 990-EZ or 990-N for three consecutive years will automatically lose their tax-exempt status. Revocation of the organization’s tax-exempt status will happen on the filing due date of the third consecutively-missed year.”
Second, keep good records all year round.
We get it. Paperwork isn’t everyone’s strong suit. The good part about running a small nonprofit organization is that you don’t have to be a tax accountant to succeed. There are small steps that can keep you organized throughout the year that will make a big difference at tax time. Here are a few.
- Track all donors and donations.
- End every month with an accounting of revenues and expenditures. (Which means hiring a part-time bookkeeper if you’re not willing or able to do this yourself.)
- Know your year-end filing deadline.
Third, trust that electronic postcard software will help you.
File990 is a company devoted to small nonprofits just like you–helping you is our job. Here are some ways we can help when it comes to filing your nonprofit taxes.
- As an authorized e-file provider, File990 is the fastest, safest, easiest, way to file nonprofit taxes–including your electronic postcard.
- We use bank-level security to insure all your information is kept safe.
- We’ll not only remind you when it’s time to file, we’ll save all your prior year’s information to make it even simpler.
- We do the heavy lifting for you. Just provide a few details about your organization and we’ll do the rest.
Fourth, don’t procrastinate.
Procrastination is putting off things we don’t want to do, are scared of doing, or don’t know how to do. Recognize that feeling, and then move forward. You can say to yourself, “I don’t know anything about filing nonprofit taxes, so I’ll put it off until tomorrow,” but that won’t get your taxes done today. Getting more information from File990 is a small step to moving forward on your taxes. Relax. We’re here to help make it easier for you.
Fifth, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You know that you’re best at what you do, and people rely on you for answers every day. When it comes to your nonprofit taxes, don’t allow your fear of not having the right answer keep you from getting the work done. By allowing yourself to recognize where others are the experts, you can actually free yourself from the burden of worry. Choosing File990 to help you get through tax season, this year and every year, can be a huge relief.
Sixth, focus on what you do best.
As you grow your small nonprofit, you’ve got the weight of the organization on your shoulders. By delegating your tax preparation to a partner like File990, you can focus your time and efforts on what you do best. Keep accurate receipts, mind your monthly bookkeeping, and partner with File990 to make sure your year-end taxes are completed on time, correctly, and simply. That’s why we’re here–so you can focus on what you do best.
Starting a nonprofit can be intimidating in other ways, but don’t allow the fear of tax preparation hold you back. With the right resources, software, and partners, you can grow your small nonprofit into a force for good, without the fear of paperwork holding you back.
For more information on File990 and our resources for nonprofits, including more about the electronic postcard, take a look at other topics in our blog. To contact us today about help with your tax filing, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.