For Nonprofits April 15 Equals May 15

IRS symbolApril 15 is the well-known due date for individual income tax returns in the U.S.

May 15, however, is the due date for annual returns to be filed by most charities and other nonprofits.

More precisely, Form 990-series information returns and notices are due on the 15th day of the fifth month after an organization’s tax year ends. Many organizations use the calendar year as their tax year, making Thursday, May 15, 2014 the deadline for them to file for 2013.

Which Form 990 should a nonprofit file? Small tax-exempt organizations with average annual receipts of $50,000 or less may file an electronic notice called a Form 990-N (e-Postcard), which asks organizations for a few basic pieces of information. Tax-exempt organizations with average annual receipts above $50,000 must file a Form 990 or 990-EZ depending on their receipts and assets. Private foundations file a Form 990-PF.

How about an extension? Organizations that need additional time to file a Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF may obtain an extension. Note that no extension is available for Form 990-N (e-Postcard).

What if a nonprofit fails to file? 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 required filing. By the way, churches and church-related organizations are not required to file annual reports.