A Complete and Accurate Return

Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2018

According to the March 2018 IRS EO Update: e-News for Charities and Nonprofits, as of January 8, 2018, the IRS is returning paper filed and rejecting electronically filed Form 990 series returns if they are incomplete or the wrong return. 

To make sure that your organization files a completed form, here are some tips to follow.

File the proper version of Form 990.

In general,

organizations with gross receipts that are normally less than or equal to $50,000 are required to file Form 990-N.
organizations with gross receipts that are normally less than $200,000 and total assets of less than $500,000 are required to file Form 990-EZ.
organizations with gross receipts that are greater than or equal to $200,000 or total assets of $500,000 or more are required to file Form 990.

Check the accuracy of your identifying information.

Make sure your EIN, tax period, group exemption number (if applicable), and Internal Revenue Code Subsection (i.e. 501(c)(3)) for your organization as indicated on your determination letter is correctly reported on your 990.

Complete Parts I – XII. 

All organizations that file Form 990 must complete Parts I through XI of the form.  Make sure you answer all of the questions and provide any additional explanations required.

Sign the return.

Form 990 is not complete without the proper signature in Part II, Signature Block.  An officer of the organization must sign the return.

Complete the proper schedules.

For an organization required to file Form 990, there are potentially 16 additional schedules that may need to be filed.  Some of these schedules also apply to organizations filing Form 990-EZ.  Make sure that you complete all required schedules.  Part IV of Form 990 provides a list of questions to determine which additional schedules are required. 

File by the due date.

No matter which form your organization is required to file, it is due by the 15th day of the 5th month after your organization’s fiscal year.  You may request a 6 month extension for Form 990 and Form 990-EZ, but the extension must be filed by the original due date.  Form 990-N cannot be extended. 

If an organization files the incorrect return or an incomplete return, the IRS will issue one of the following letters:

If your organization receives one of these letters make sure that you follow the instructions to provide the missing information.  You will also need provide a corrected return and reasonable cause explanation as to why you did not initially submit all of the required information within 10 days of the date of the letter.  The date of the letter can be found in the top right corner of the letter.  The date that the IRS receives a complete and accurate return is the date that the return is considered filed. 

Posted by: Carrie Minnich, CPA

Posted in Mission Minded Nonprofits

Disclaimer: The information contained in Dulin, Ward & DeWald’s blog is provided for general educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or legal advice on any subject matter. Before taking any action based on this information, we strongly encourage you to consult competent legal, accounting or other professional advice about your specific situation. Questions on blog posts may be submitted to your DWD representative.

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