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ExpressTaxExempt Blog

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How To Organize Receipts & Records for Tax Filing

With technology gaining new developments, keeping track of receipts and financial transactions for your exempt organization may have become a little easier. Often times you may be given the option to receive your receipt via email or by text message. Although this is convenient, it can become somewhat difficult to keep up with the mixture of printed and digital receipts on top of all of the other paperwork you need when preparing taxes for your organization.

Here’s a few tips on how to get all of your paperwork and that ever-growing box of receipts organized.

Take Inventory

The first step in organizing your paperwork is to assess the types of documents and receipts that you have. Paperwork can be categorized in various ways, including tax filings for previous years; bank or loan accounts or mortgage statements; pay stubs; assets sales receipts of gains/losses (residential property, vehicles, etc.); deduction/expense receipts; insurance; and interest paid/interest deductions (i.e. loan interest).

How Long Should I Keep Receipts?

Don’t you find yourself asking this question a lot? Right before you’re about throw away a receipt you think to yourself, “Hmm...should I keep this just in case?”

The length of time that you keep financial records is based on why you originally needed them. For example, annual tax returns, insurance claims, investments, etc., should be kept beyond tax season. Remember, the ultimate purpose of keeping your records is to have documentation for the IRS.

Audits of tax filings have a statute of limitations that can be extended three years after you’ve filed (or the due date of the tax return), so it is extremely important and beneficial to keep these records for at least three years.

If you do not file with the IRS or they have no reason to believe that a case of fraudulence has occurred, there is no statute of limitation. Because of this, you can keep any relevant tax documentation as long as possible.

NOTES:
  • Self-Employed individuals and tax exempt organizations are more likely to be scrutinized and given longer statutes of limitations. If you are self-employed or file for an exempt organization (with employees), keep your filing records for four years.

Organize Your Records

Organization is the key to success here. It’s suggested that you sort financial records and receipts based on how soon you may need them.



Keep up with Active File documents! These include documents that you will actively need in the coming year (i.e. W-2s, expense receipts, etc.). Having these documents in multiple formats, whether it’s printed, scanned, or electronic, is always helpful.

Once you have filed or the tax year has ended, you can safely discard the following documents:
  1. Pay stubs 
  2. Bank Statements 
  3. Receipts (once your taxes have been filed, paper receipts should be shredded)
  4. Loan Interest Payments
  5. Investment Statements 

Financial records that you do not need in the present moment, but may need to be accessible in an audit, should be kept in a digital format and not in a physical space. Scanned documentation can be stored on your computer or uploaded into a cloud service.

The Easiest Way to File 

Once you’ve organized all of your paperwork, utilize ExpressTaxExempt for your e-filing needs. ExpressTaxExempt eliminates the worry about missing your Form 990 filing deadline! With our simple, interview style e-filing process, you can complete your form and instantly transmit it directly to the IRS.

We offer easy e-filing for Form 990 Series returns (Form 990, Form 990-N (e-Postcard), Form 990-EZ, and Form 990-PF) so you can quickly file the correct 990 Form for your organization. For more information on e-filing pricing, click here.

Follow the simple step-by-step guide to create your free account, enter basic information about your organization, complete the form interview, review your information and audit report, pay for your form, and transmit it directly to the IRS. The entire process is completed in 5 simple steps!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our support team of e-file experts at 704.839.2321 for any questions or help with your e-filing experience. We’re available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. You can also reach us 24/7 via email with support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

#GivingTuesday - Making a Difference One Donation at a Time

The Holidays bring about many great things to celebrate. Since last Thursday, we’ve had the opportunity to enjoy Thanksgiving, indulge in Black Friday shopping, support Small Business Saturday, and catch some great deals on Cyber Monday.

Today, we recognize #GivingTuesday, a social movement which encourages others to give back by donating time, money or positive influence to a worthy cause that makes a difference. Generous efforts such as donating blood, providing financial support to a local organization, visiting a nursing home, or even helping out at a soup kitchen can touch the lives of many.

Even large organizations such as PayPal have “seized the season” and partnered with its users to celebrate the #GivingTuesday initiative, adding 1% of all donations made through their portal from now until the end of the year.

Since we’re talking about donating to charity, we’d love for you to share with us ways that you will donate! Are you a part of a charity or nonprofit organization who could use some donations to support the mission of the organization? If so, post the group name and information in the comments so other readers can donate!

For tax exempt organizations, donations are a major component to its success and level of outreach. Thankfully, taxpayers have the ability to maximize their tax savings before the end of the year by giving to a charity and deducting it on their 2017 federal income tax return.

#GivingTuesday Tax Filing Reminders

With #GivingTuesday being an annual event, there are some reminders that taxpayers should be reminded of as they give money or good to an exempt charity or organization before December 31.

Donations to Eligible Organizations (Only) are Tax-Deductible
Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies are eligible to receive deductible donations. For a complete list of eligible organizations, click here.

Itemize to Claim Charitable Donations
Charitable deductions cannot be made if an individual chooses the standard deduction. Taxpayers must itemize their donations on Form 1040 Schedule A to claim deductions for charitable contributions.

Have Proof of Monetary Donations
Upon making a donation, be sure to receive a bank record or written statement from the charity/organization to prove the amount and date given. Taxpayers using payroll deductions should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement or other proof showing the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.

Donating Property
Donating items such as clothing and other household items come with a deduction amount that is normally limited to the fair market value of the item. These types of items must be in good or better condition to be considered tax-deductible.

Similar to monetary donations, those that donate property must get a written acknowledgement from the charity for all gifts that are worth $250 or more. This statement should include a description of the items contributed.

What Happens After You Donate?
Once you’ve donated and received the necessary paperwork for your deduction, all that’s left to do is simply file your annual tax return. However, tax exempt organizations have a few more steps to take such as filing their required Form 990 each year.

Exempt organizations are required to file this return to ensure that their organization is not abusing its tax exempt status. The IRS also utilizes the information reported on Form 990 and makes it available for public information.

Luckily, exempt organizations can handle all of their Form 990 filing needs right here at ExpressTaxExempt with our easy, simplified filing process, and can even instantly share their information with GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information.

Give, Give, Give!
The ExpressTaxExempt team encourages you to take some time this holiday season and give back in some way in honor of #GivingTuesday. Once again, feel free to comment with ways that you or your organization are helping out today and days to come as well as providing your organization's information to gain support from fellow ExpressTaxExempt users.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

ExpressTaxExempt Wishes You a Happy Thanksgiving!


The ExpressTaxExempt family would like to wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving and extend our gratitude for each and every one of our customers this holiday season.

Words cannot express our sincere appreciation for you and the things that your organization does to make a difference in the communities you serve. Whether this was your first year using our services or you have been a loyal client for years, we are very grateful that you have chosen to use ExpressTaxExempt to handle your e-filing requirements

Yogi Bhajan once said, “An attitude of gratitude brings great things.” As we embrace the Holiday season, we know that great things are in store for your organization and ExpressTaxExempt is here to support you every step of the way!

As you spend the holiday with family and friends, we’ve put together some  Thanksgiving humor that will bring everyone together over laughter. Let’s see how many of these you and those that you’re celebrating with can guess!

Thanksgiving Day Humor


Q: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
A: Pilgrims!

Q: Why did the turkey cross the road?
A: Because it was the chicken’s day off

Q: Why did they let the turkey join the band?
A: Because he had the drumsticks

Q: What kind of music did the Pilgrims like?
A: Plymouth Rock

Q: Which side of the turkey has the most feathers?
A: The outside

Q: What’s the best dance to do on Thanksgiving?
A: The Turkey Trot

Q: Why did the police arrest the turkey?
A: They suspected it of fowl play

Q: Why do turkeys always go, “gobble, gobble?”
A: Because they never learned good table manners

Q: Who is NOT hungry at Thanksgiving?
A: The turkey because it’s already stuffed!



Click here for more Thanksgiving jokes.

We're Still Here To Help

As with every year, we observe major holidays so that our staff can be with family and friends as well. Our office will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, however, we will offer email support beginning on Friday, November 24 at support@expresstaxexempt.com throughout the weekend. Normal business operations will resume on Monday, November 27.

Thank you again for choosing ExpressTaxExempt for your exempt organization e-filings. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November 15 Deadline is Here | E-file Today!


The Day Has Come!! ExpressTaxExempt put much focus on the November 15 (Form 990 Series) deadline recently to make sure all of our users were aware that they may be required to file by today to maintain the exempt status of their organization.

If you’re not aware of today’s deadline and what is due, let’s do a quick recap to bring you up to speed.

About Form 990 Series

Tax exempt organizations are required to file one of the following tax returns of the Form 990 Series annually. The Form 990 series consists of the following:

Form 990 is filed by organizations with gross receipts more than or equal to $200,000 or total assets equal to or greater than $500,000.

Form 990-EZ is the Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax and is filed by organizations with gross receipts less than $200,000 and $500,000 in total assets.

Form 990-N is for organizations with gross receipts that are less than or equal to $50,000. This form can only be filed electronically.

Form 990-PF is filed by Exempt & Taxable Private Foundations as well as Non-Exempt Charitable Trusts which the IRS treat as private foundations.

Click here to find out what information you’ll need to have in order to file these forms.

Is My Organization Required to File? 



All organizations are not required to file on today’s deadline. The Form 990 deadline is the 15th day of the 5th month after your tax year ends. That means for organizations with a calendar tax year that ends in December the 990 deadline is on May 15th.

However, if you have a fiscal tax year, meaning your tax year consists of 12 consecutive months and ends any month besides December, your deadline is in a different month. 

There are two types of organizations that must file today:
  1. Organizations with a tax year that ended on June 30.
  2. Organizations whose original filing deadline was May 15 but filed an automatic extension (Form 8868). 
If your organization ended its accounting period (tax year) on June 30, you have the option to file your return today or apply for extension to file with Form 8868. 

If your organization was required to file on May 15 and was granted a 6-month extension to file, you must file today since there is not another extension that can be filed. 

The Easiest Way to File

ExpressTaxExempt eliminates the worry about missing your Form 990 filing deadline! With our simple, interview style e-filing process, you can complete your form and instantly transmit it directly to the IRS.

We offer easy e-filing for Form 990 Series returns (Form 990, Form 990-N (e-Postcard), Form 990-EZ, and Form 990-PF) so you can quickly file the correct 990 Form for your organization. For more information on e-filing pricing, click here.

Follow the simple step-by-step guide to create your free account, enter basic information about your organization, complete the form interview, review your information and audit report, pay for your form, and transmit it directly to the IRS. The entire process is completed in 5 simple steps! 

Let Us Help You File

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our support team of e-file experts at 704.839.2321 for any questions or help with your e-filing experience. We’re available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, and even offer extended customer support hours tonight for the November 15 deadline. You can also reach us 24/7 via email with support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.
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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

3 Major Tips For Last Minute Filing


Filing taxes under pressure can be stressful and a headache, to say the least. With the November 15 deadline quickly approaching for fiscal tax year organizations that operate from July 1 - June 30, the pressure is on to submit your appropriate 990 tax return by tomorrow. 

Here’s a few last minute tax filing tips that can be helpful when meeting the November 15 deadline:

Know Which Form To File

The quickest way to have your 990 return rejected is to file the incorrect form. This detailed list of the the Form 990 series will help you understand what specific form your organization needs to file. 

Form 990 is filed by organizations with gross receipts more than or equal to $200,000 or total assets equal to or greater than $500,000.
  • Information Needed: Program services, revenue, expenses, supplemental financial statements, net assets, balance sheets, list of employees, other IRS filings, and tax compliance along with the organization’s governance, management, and disclosures.
Form 990-EZ is the Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax and is filed by organizations with gross receipts less than $200,000 and $500,000 in total assets.
  • Information Needed: Organization’s EIN, gross receipts and assets must be provided. Also, all appropriate, required Schedules must be completed and attached when filing Form 990-EZ.
Form 990-N is for organizations with gross receipts that are less than or equal to $50,000. This form can only be filed electronically.
  • Information Needed: Organization’s EIN, tax year, legal name & address, different names used by the organization (if applicable), website (if applicable), name & address of a principal officer, confirmation of gross receipts of $50,000 or less, and a statement that the organization is going out of business (if applicable). 
Form 990-PF is filed by Exempt & Taxable Private Foundations as well as Non-Exempt Charitable Trusts which the IRS treat as private foundations.
  • Information Needed: Organization’s name and EIN (as it appears on IRS records), organization’s revenue and expenses, net assets, capital gains and losses for tax on investment income, charitable activities, program-related investments, as well as information on its officers, directors, trustees, etc.




E-file with an Authorized E-File Provider

E-filing tax returns for your exempt organization makes life so much easier; especially with ExpressTaxExempt. With our interview-style e-filing process, you can complete your form and instantly transmit it directly to the IRS. 

We offer easy e-filing for Form 990 Series returns so you can quickly file the correct 990 Form for your organization. For more information on e-filing pricing, click here

Simply follow the step-by-step guide to create your free account, enter basic information about your organization, complete the form interview, review your information and audit report, pay for your form, and transmit it directly to the IRS. The entire process is completed in 5 simple steps!

Are you completely overwhelmed and need more time to file your 990 return? No worries! We even offer Extension Form 8868 which provides you with an additional 6 months to file. 

Meet The Deadline

Although the clock is ticking, you still have time to file and transmit your organization’s 990 return directly to the IRS by the November 15 deadline. As the #1 authorized e-file provider, ExpressTaxExempt will guide through the entire filing experience. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our support team of e-file experts at 704.839.2321 for any questions or help with your e-filing experience. We’re available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or reach us 24/7 via email with support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.
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Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Secret to Stress-Free Form 990 Filing

The month of November is rather nostalgic with the Fall season bringing about cooler temperatures and Thanksgiving kicking off holiday gatherings and celebrations. 

November is also a big month in the tax exempt industry. If your exempt organization operates on a fiscal year which ends on June 30, your IRS Form 990 return is due by November 15. If you operate on a calendar year (original due date of May 15) but filed a 6-month extension through Form 8868, your 990 return is due also. 

Deadlines are never fun and trying to meet them can become stressful. Thankfully, e-filing with ExpressTaxExempt eliminates the stress of tax filing while on a time-crunch. 

ExpressTaxExempt offers the entire Form 990 Series to be completed in the most simple and easiest method possible. You won’t have to worry about missing your Form 990 deadline because the interview style e-filing process will help you complete your form and instantly transmit it directly to the IRS. 

All that you will need to do is follow the simple step-by-step guide to create your free account, enter basic information about your organization, complete the form interview, review your information and audit report, pay for your form, and transmit it directly to the IRS. The entire process is completed in 5 simple steps! 

Failing to file your Form 990 return can result in accumulating expensive penalties very quickly. If your organization fails to file on time and has less than $1,000,000 in gross receipts for the entire year and do not provide reasonable cause for missing the deadline, the IRS will charge you $20 per day for every day that your return is late. 

This penalty continuously accrues until you reach the maximum of $10,000 or 5% of your organization’s total gross receipts, depending on which amount is less. Filing with ExpressTaxExempt prevents this from happening. 

Stress-Free Filing

The best way to handle any type of situation, especially tax filing, is to be prepared. By being proactive and having a tax plan in place, the risk of last minute tax surprises can be avoided. Here are some other ways to have stress-free filing experience: 
  1. Know your specific filing deadline 
  2. Determine and Organize all of the information you will need when filing in advance. 
  3. Strategize the amount of time needed to file your 990 while still conducting the daily tasks of your exempt organization, charity, etc. 
  4. Maintain detailed records throughout the calendar or fiscal year. 
  5. Utilize the ExpressTaxExempt website as an informative resource before, during, and after the e-filing process. 

Filing Process

Our service at ExpressTaxExempt is dedicated to providing the best and most efficient e-filing experience for tax exempt organizations, no matter how big or small. Because of this, all ExpressTaxExempt users can begin the filing process for free and easily enter their organization’s information individually. Payment is only required at the very end when it’s time to transmit your return directly to the IRS. Furthermore, our interview-style form completion includes internal audit checks to ensure that all information is entered properly with no areas left undone, auto-generated IRS form Schedules to accompany your 990 return, along with several other exclusive features.

We're Help To Help

E-filing your appropriate Form 990 Series return before the November 15 due date with the #1 authorized IRS e-file provider (ExpressTaxExempt) is a piece of cake. Contact our support team of e-file experts at 704.839.2321 for any questions or help with your e-filing experience. We’re available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or reach us 24/7 via email with support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.
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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What Taxes Does Your Nonprofit Need to File?


As the seasons change and the holidays quickly approach, it’s pretty easy to unintentionally put tax
filing concerns on the back burner.

While some organizations may have already filed their 990 forms this year, others that operate on a fiscal tax year might have a deadline that is right around the corner. 

If your tax exempt organization operated on a fiscal tax year of July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017, you must file Form 990-N, Form 990-EZ, Form 990, Form 990-PF or Form 1120-POL by next Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

Filing Form 990-N (e-Postcard) with ExpressTaxExempt is very easy and can be completed within minutes. With just three steps, you can file and transmit your Form 990-N (e-Postcard) directly to the IRS and keep your exempt status. 

How To File Form 990-N

  1. Search Organization’s EIN - Enter your Employer Identification Number (EIN) to view filing history and e-file your Form 990-N to the IRS. 
  2. Select Filing Year - Choose the available tax year from your filing history list to e-file and create an account to review your filing details. You can also update any of your organization information if necessary. 
  3. Review & Transmit to the IRS - Complete payment information and transmit your e-Postcard to the IRS instantly. You can review your payment receipt or summary of e-Postcard once you transmit your return.

Information Needed To File Form 990-N

Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Tax Year
Legal Name & Address
Different Names Used By The Organization, if applicable
Website, if applicable
Name & Address Of A Principal Officer
Confirmation Of Gross Receipts Of $50,000 Or Less
A Statement That The Organization Is Going Out Of Business, if applicable 

Benefits of Filing with ExpressTaxExempt

Happy Client.jpg
Why should you e-file with ExpressTaxExempt instead of other tax filing providers?

Honestly, the list of reasons is too long to post, but here are a few reasons why:

With ExpressTaxExempt you can e-file your 990-N as well as 990-EZ, 990, 990-PF, or 1120-POL forms in the most simple and easiest method possible. We even offer extension Form 8868, which provides you with an additional 6 months to file.

Our recently reduced pricing for filing Form 990 Series returns is paired with several exclusive features such as bulk upload for large amounts of information, mobile filing for iOS and Android devices, error-checks which make sure you don't leave any necessary fields blank, and live phone, chat and email support for any questions you may have.

Furthermore, ExpressTaxExempt takes the security of its users very seriously and ensures that all information entered and stored with our intensive, up-to-date web securities which are guaranteed to safeguard your private information. 

Final Steps

With all of these benefits, features, and reduced pricing for all 990 forms, why go through all the stress and time it takes to paper file? E-file your appropriate Form 990 Series return before the November 15 due date with the #1 authorized IRS e-file provider, ExpressTaxExempt. Contact our support team of e-file experts at 704.839.2321 for any questions or help with your e-filing experience. We’re available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or reach us 24/7 via email with support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.
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Need Further Help? Contact Us

Our live support specialists in Rock Hill, SC are always ready to offer professional service and assistance.

704.839.2321

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers related to e-filing IRS Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-N (e-Postcard), Form 1120-POL and Extension Form 8868 with our Frequently Asked Questions.

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