A nonprofit structure comes with a lot of benefits, including the ability to receive grant funding and tax exemption. But keep in mind that while tax-exempt nonprofits may not have to pay federal taxes, they do still have a responsibility to the IRS. Each year, you will need to fill out and submit a 990, a form that holds nonprofit organizations accountable to business conduct that aligns with their public responsibilities.
Some of this information includes sharing your nonprofit’s vision, along with details about your cash reserves, how you compensate staff, potential conflicts of interest on your board, and your accomplishments from the last fiscal year.
Why is it important to file a 990 form?
Providing this information to the IRS in a timely fashion is important — and beneficial to your organization and the people you serve — for a few reasons.
First, the information contained in a 990 form is public, so it can guide potential donors in their decision to support your work as a nonprofit. Information from a 990 form can also attract potential employees or board members, who are crucial in moving forward your organization’s vision. Your 990 is also a great way for foundations who provide grants to look into your nonprofit and its programming and “vet” your stability as an organization.
There’s also a legal obligation for nonprofits: Organizations that don’t file required forms 990, 990-EZ or 990-N for three years in a row automatically lose their tax-exempt status. So in a way, failing to file your 990 form could directly interfere with your ability to serve the individuals and communities you set out to serve when you started your nonprofit. Even if your nonprofit had no activity and didn’t have any revenue for the year, you still need to file.
When should I file my 990 form?
According to the IRS, nonprofit organizations typically have to file their 990 forms by the 15th day of the 5th month after their accounting period ends. If your fiscal year ended on December 31, 2019, then your 990 would have been due May 15, 2020.
If you haven’t filed your 990 form yet, don’t worry — you still have time. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the due date for 990’s has been extended to July 15, 2020.
Do you need help filing your 990 form?
Timing isn’t the only important part of filing your form; you’ll also want to make sure the information is clear, concise, and up-to-date. Not sure where to start, which 990 form to fill out, or just want to make sure you put your best foot forward with compliance? We are here to help!
For more information on filing your 990N, 990EZ, or 990 form, please feel free to email Favour Consulting Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 818-824-3708. We look forward to working with you to advance your vision, so you can continue to do good in the world!