ExpressTaxExempt Blog

E-file Tax-Exempt Returns from Anywhere!

E-file Tax-Exempt Returns from Anywhere
E-file Tax-Exempt Returns from Anywhere
For those of you running small exempt organizations, you know that you’re required to file an annual tax return with IRS. Even if your nonprofit or charity brought in little or no money for the filing year, you still need to report that fact to the federal government.

Filing for tax-exempt organizations can take a lot of time and paperwork - or it used to. If your tax-exempt group makes less than $50,000 a year, you can now e-file your tax return in minutes with ExpressTaxExempt.com. And the best part - you don’t need to be anywhere near a desk or computer at all!

ExpressTaxExempt - Form 990-N App
With this FREE downloadable mobile app, you can e-file IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard) at anytime and anywhere from your favorite iOS or Android devices and handsets. Complete the entire filing process in less than 10 minutes - all you need is your basic organization details, tax year period, and confirmation of $50,000 or less in gross receipts.

Your form is checked for any errors before you submit to the IRS, and you’ll receive an email confirmation of approval soon after transmitting your form. The information goes directly to the IRS and nowhere else. If your return gets rejected, the app identifies the mistake so you can correct it and resend with no additional charges.

ExpressTaxExempt - Form 8868 App
For other exempt organizations with gross receipts over $50,000, and you need more time to file your IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ, you can also e-file the IRS Form 8868 tax extension at your convenience from iOS and Android tablets.

You can e-file your extension in just minutes with your organization’s basic information and tax year period - you’ll also need to select which IRS form you typically file for your tax-exempt group. Like the 990-N mobile app, your return gets scanned for any mistakes, and you gain access to PDF copies of your transmitted tax form.

We’re here to offer you the easiest, most streamlined filing experience so you can stay compliant with the IRS and quickly get back to running your organization smoothly. Contact us at 704.839.2321 for any questions or help e-filing to the IRS. We’re also available 24/7 with support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.

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E-file Form 990-N Before the Year Ends!

E-file Form 990-N
E-file Form 990-N Before the Year Ends!
There are only two full months left within the year, and if your small tax-exempt organization needs to file a tax return, ExpressTaxExempt.com has you covered. It’s not too late to transmit your IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard) before the end of the year!

IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard)
The 990-N serves as an electronic notice and is for small organizations that make less than $50,000 - and that’s pretty much all you’re reporting to the IRS. There is no need for any exact amounts or schedules. The form is also electronic-only; you won’t find a paper version anywhere!

E-filing with ExpressTaxExempt.com
We make e-filing IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard) as simple as 1-2-3! With our quick and easy steps, you can complete and transmit your form within minutes:

  1. 1. Create a FREE account at ExpressTaxExempt.com
  2. 2. Enter your Basic Organization Details
  3. 3. Select the appropriate Tax Year
  4. 4. Confirm your Gross Receipt
  5. 5. Review Summary and Audit Report
  6. 6. Authorize and Transmit to IRS

After submitting your 990-N, you’ll gain access to a printable copy of your e-Postcard summary and receive real-time email notification about your filing status. If the IRS rejects your e-file for any reason, we’ll identify the issue so you can make corrections and re-transmit at no extra cost!

IRS Penalties
There isn’t much of a penalty for filing Form 990-N (e-Postcard) late, which is why you still have until the end of the year to file. It doesn’t matter if your deadline was months ago - you’re still able to e-file.
There are consequences for not filing at all - fail to file for three consecutive years, and you’ll lose your tax-exempt status. You also can’t file an IRS Form 8868 extension form for e-Postcards. If you can’t file before the deadline, be sure to file as soon as possible afterward.

Important: The IRS e-filing system only supports three consecutive filing years at a time. As the new year begins, the oldest year gets dropped from support. These final two months will be the last time an organization can e-file for 2013. Your only option is to paper file IRS Form 990-EZ for any discontinued years.

Feel free to contact our U.S. - based, e-file professionals for valuable assistance or to answer questions about e-filing a 990 form. You can reach us at 704.839.2321, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or 24/7 day and night with support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.

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Common Form 990 Filing Mistakes

Preparing an IRS Form 990 takes a great deal time. The entire form itself is many pages long and littered with tons of IRS instructions, legal terms, and small print that can contribute to a stressful filing experience.

IRS forms are complicated, but providing complete and accurate information is key to avoiding IRS penalties. Here are three sections of the 990 form where people typically make the most mistakes, and how you can navigate through the difficulties.

Part VII - Compensation of Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, Highest Compensated Employees, and Independent Contractors
A lot of people seem to get confused at this part of the Form 990 because of the many classifications - some organizations may have one member with many roles, or don’t have any key employees, or don’t offer compensation at all.

For the majority of exempt organizations, you must list all your current officers, directors, and trustees first - whether they were paid or not. You need to include employees outside of an officer, director, or trustee role that were paid the highest along with amounts reported on their W-2.

Other situations may require you to list former officers or highest compensated employees that made over $100,000 during the tax year or former directors or trustees that made over $10,000 within the tax year. You’ll also need to list any hired contractor that was paid at least $100,000.

Part VIII - Statement of Revenue
A statement of revenue is exactly how it sounds; you’re stating every dollar amount your organization brought in during the tax year. It’s broken down into three broad categories:
  • Contributions, Gifts, and Grants - Money or the monetary value of items freely given to your organization by people or the government
  • Program Service Revenue - Money paid to your organization for providing a service or product related to your tax-exempt operations
  • Other Revenue - Money made from your organization through various ways like investments, royalties, rental properties, gaming activities, or inventory sales

There’s also a section for miscellaneous revenue, and this is what messes with people the most. Be sure to double, even triple, check your organization’s sources of income to make sure they fit within those three most important categories. If it doesn’t fit, that’s the only time you can count it as miscellaneous. Grouping any or every large sum as miscellaneous can harm your public charity status and even lead to an audit.

Part IX - Statement of Functional Expenses
Much like the statement of revenue; this time around, you’re stating each time your organization spent money. There aren’t any broad categories you can group expenses into; however, the IRS lists various cases in which an organization may need to spend money. And just like revenue, make sure your costs can fit the given conditions - lumping everything as a miscellaneous expense is like waving a red flag.

With ExpressTaxExempt.com, we break these parts down into full, stand-alone sections, so you aren’t squeezing everything into one page or one screen. We even offer our exclusive Bulk Upload feature in which you can upload lists of received contributions at once, and we’ll enter each of them in for you while you continue through your 990 form - get twice as much done in less time!

Contact our U.S. - based support team of e-file professionals for any help or questions about your filing experience. We’re available at 704.839.2321, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or reach us via email with support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.

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Foreign Charities Filing 990 Forms

In the nonprofit sector, it’s common knowledge that your tax-exempt organization must file an annual return with the IRS - this form reports your organization’s total revenue, expenses, and activities. But if your exempt organization is considered foreign, then filing may be different than your domestic counterparts.

What is Considered a Foreign Charity?
A foreign charity or nonprofit is an organization created outside of the United States, or any of its territories and possessions, which claims tax-exempt status on revenue earned within the United States. A big difference between domestic and foreign charities is that US contributions to foreign organizations are not tax deductible.

Why Should a Foreign Charity Have to File?
Foreign organizations are required to file an annual 990 return if the IRS recognizes it as tax-exempt, it receives more than $50,000 in gross receipts from U.S. sources, and it engages in significant activity within the U.S. other than investment activities.

If your foreign charity makes less than $50,000 in the U.S. or doesn’t participate in important US activities, you may be relieved from filing or choose to submit an IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard).

For those who want or are required to file, you must report values in U.S. currency along with the conversion rate your organization uses. Combine amounts that come from both outside and inside the United States and give the total for each - your information must also be submitted in English.

Which 990 Forms Should Foreign Charities File?
Based on your gross receipts from U.S. sources, you are required to file the same types of forms as domestic exempt organizations:
  • IRS Form 990 - U.S. gross receipts are over $200,000
  • IRS Form 990-EZ - U.S. gross receipts are between $50,000 and $200,000
  • IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard) - U.S. gross receipts are less than $50,000
Important: Like many other domestic organizations, if your foreign group is a private foundation or subject to unrelated business income tax, you’ll file IRS Form 990-PF or Form 990-T respectively.

With ExpressTaxExempt.com, complete and transmit your foreign organization’s 990 return in a secure and accurate way that is quicker than paper filing. Our cloud-based service even supports physical addresses located outside the United States. We also scan your entire form for any errors so can send a proper filing the first time around.

Feel free to contact our U.S. - based, e-file professionals at 704.839.2321, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, with any questions or help with your 990 tax return. We also offer 24/7 email support with support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.

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REMINDER!! Final IRS Deadline for the Year!

We’re in the last three months of the year. And just like every year, the final extended deadline for exempt organizations rolls around like clockwork.

For nonprofits and charities who filed extensions throughout the year, you still have a little over a month to file your tax return before November 15.

Which Organizations Must File?
Not every tax-exempt organization has the same final deadline - it depends on your tax year period and which forms you submitted during various due dates. Your exempt organization is required to file before November 15 if it fits each of the following criteria:
  • Operates on a Calendar Tax Year (January 1 to December 31)
  • Filed IRS Form 8868 Part I for the original May 15 deadline
  • Filed IRS Form 8868 Part II for the extended August 15 deadline

There are no other extension options after Form 8868 Part II, so you can either file on time or file late with possible IRS penalties.
Important: If November 15 is the original filing deadline for your organization, then you still have a choice of filing for an extension; however, your Fiscal Tax Year must be from July 1 to June 30.

Which Forms to File?
Exempt organizations must submit an IRS 990 form every year based on their gross receipts.

  • IRS Form 990 - Tax-exempt organizations with over $200,000 in gross receipts
  • IRS Form 990-EZ - Tax-exempt organizations with over $50,000, but less than $200,000 in gross receipts
  • IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard) - Tax-exempt organizations with less than $50,000 in gross receipts

For the final extended deadline, you’re either filing the Form 990 or Form 990-EZ because there are no options for extending a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) filing.

IRS Penalties

If you fail to file on time, your organization could get charged $20 for each day your form is late, or a $100 daily charge if gross receipts are over $1 million. Maximum fees can reach up to $50,000 or 5% of your gross receipts.

As mentioned earlier, there are no extensions available after the November 15 deadline. If you file an incomplete form, the IRS will consider it a late return and charge penalties. If you file on time, but your form gets rejected, you have a 10-day grace period to file again.

With ExpressTaxExempt.com, our cloud-based service has everything you need to securely e-file your 990 form quickly and easily than paper filing. Let us streamline your filing experience - even if your form gets rejected, we can identify the issue, let you correct it, and re-transmit to the IRS instantly with no extra charges!

Contact our U.S. - based, e-filing experts at 704.839.2321 - Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST - for questions or assistance with transmitting to the IRS. We also offer email support with support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.

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4 Surprising Tax Tips for Nonprofits

Successfully running a nonprofit or charitable group comes with many responsibilities - not only with your organization’s mission and activities, but also all the requirements to remain compliant with the federal government.

You already know to file a tax report to the IRS every year. You know that failing to do so for three straight years can void your exemption status. You know what to look for and how to report it, but here are a few less known tax tips found online that can benefit your organization in various ways.

Deductions for Volunteers
A great incentive for attracting volunteers to your organization is the tax benefits they receive for their service. Inform your volunteers how they can deduct various travel expenses such as oil changes, fuel, and mileage. Flight costs, food, lodging, and just about any other out-of-pocket expenses required for your volunteers to complete their tasks are tax deductible.

Receipts for Charitable Donations
It may be difficult at first, but try to establish a habit of writing acknowledgments for each donation your organization receives - you can create something as simple as a receipt or a “Thank You” letter that contains the following:

  • Donation amount
  • Date the donation was received
  • Proof or a reassure of exemption status
  • A statement of exchange for the donation, if necessary

You might not be obligated to acknowledge every $5 or $10 that comes to your nonprofit, but you should properly recognize anything in the hundreds of dollars or more.

Detailed Financial Documents
You never want a situation in which the IRS has you audited. But if you are, be sure you can account for every donation, expense, and revenue. With the various tax software available, you can organize and have your information readily available for any scenario. Make a habit of documenting your financial reports as soon as you get them. At the very least, it makes your tax season less stressful.

Fundraising through Crowdfunding
Though crowdfunding is proving as a viable alternative to traditional fundraising, it’s still subject to customary tax laws regarding donations. But just like regular donations, you’ll report the same information about contributions from crowdfunding. Whatever crowdfunding platform you choose, you can track donors, their monetary amounts, and even set up rewards for each donation.

Just as each nonprofit is different from the next, so is the tax situation for each exempt organization. Check with a tax advisor for any other surprising tax advantages - and when you’re ready to e-file IRS Form 990/990-EZ come to ExpressTaxExempt.com. Our streamlined, cloud-based service asks interview-style questions which report your organization’s revenue, expenses, and other activities for the year - without the time-consuming hassles of paper filing.

Contact our U.S. - based, e-file professionals for any questions or assistance with our services. You can speak with us at 704.839.2321, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or send a message to support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.

Related Blog: Start a Nonprofit in 3 Simple Steps 

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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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