ExpressTaxExempt Blog

Qualifying for Public Charity Status

Most officers' of publicly-supported organization have questions about their organizations' public charity status. It can be complicated at first, but the Express990 Team has a few tricks to make it a bit easier. Obtaining public charity status is important to understand as well as how to maintain it. To avoid possible loss of public charity, it is important to monitor your organization's financial support. Here are a few helpful ways to check if your organization qualifies as a public charity:

Identifying Current Status
To check your current status with the IRS, you can visit their EO Select Check page. You can also check to make sure your status hasn't been revoked by going to the IRS Automatic Revocation of Exemption List. It's a lot of links right off the bat, but trust me, it is sometimes much easier to check on your status through the IRS web page then having to call them directly. 

Public Charity Status
Public charity status is only applicable to 501(c)(3) organizations. To receive this status you would have filed a Form 1023. For more information on receiving 501(c)(3) status check out my blog - How Does An Organization Receive 501(c)(3) Status?

Public Support Test
The public support test is basically a fraction. It is the sum of the organization's public support during the five year period over the sum of the organization total support during the five-year period. In simple words, the organization must have at least 33 and 1/3 public support to qualify as publicly supported.

Supporting Organization
Public support is classified as a gift, grants and contributions from government and public sources; gifts, grants and contributions from private sources, such as individuals, businesses and private foundation; government contracts to provide a service or maintain a facility for the benefit of the general public; qualified sponsorship payment; and membership fees for the organization general support.

Let's Sum It Up
As long as organization receives more than 33 and third percent of it support from the items listed above, they will be considered a public charity. Don't forget you can always check your status on the IRS EO Select Check page and you can make sure your status hasn't been revoked through the IRS revocation list - linked above.  
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The 990-N App

The right app to file your 990-N is all you need to simplify tax filing for nonprofit organizations. Express990 provides you that perfect app to file your 990-N from any location, at any time. No, my nonprofit friend, this is no dream. The 990-N App truly exists and is available to download right now, for free on Google Play & iTunes App Store!

What is the difference between Form 990 and the 990-N?
The 990-N is a greatly shortened version of the From 990. Another main difference between the two is who can use the 990-N vs. Form 990. The 990-N is used by small tax-exempt organizations that gross in receipts of $50,000 or less in a year and is only available to be filed electronically. This is actually very convenient for easy filing on the go; not to mention a greener alternative to the old school paper option - go Earth!

When is the deadline to file the 990-N for my organization?
This is how the IRS explains the 990-N deadline - The deadline is on the 15th day of the 5th month after the last day of your tax year. Not the clearest definition to define a date right away, but here is an example of how to figure it out:

Ex. If your tax year ended December 31st, your 990-N will be due by May 15th of the following year.

To be absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt sure of when you 990-N deadline is, consult a financial advisor/accountant. You wouldn't want to put your exempt status in jeopardy because you didn't file on the correct due date for your fiscal year.

If you have questions give the Express990 team a call. We are located in beautiful Rock Hill, SC and you can reach us via phone: 704.839.2321 or through our 24/7 email support: support@expresstaxexempt.com.

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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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