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ExpressTaxExempt Blog

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Reduced Filing Prices Now Available with ExpressTaxExempt

Christmas really does come in July! ExpressTaxExempt is excited to announce that it is now offering new, reduced rates for nonprofit and exempt organizations to easily prepare and e-file their annual tax forms. A premiere product of SPAN Enterprises, ExpressTaxExempt serves as the #1 tax e-filing solution for tax exempt organizations worldwide. 

Users, both current and new, can now e-file for some of the best prices on the market and have access to stellar customer service that is only available through ExpressTaxExempt. 

Pricing

New pricing for Form 990 Series & Form 1120-POL is as follows:
  • *Form 990-N (e-Postcard) ~ $9.90
  • *Form 990-EZ (Short Form) ~ $59.90 [previously $129.95]
  • *Form 990 (Long Form) ~ $69.90 [previously $299.95]
  • *Form 990-PF (Private Foundation) ~ $99.90 [previously $499.95]
  • *Form 1120-POL (Political Organization) ~ $49.90 [new form] 
  • *Form 8868 (Extension) ~ $14.90 [previously $14.95] 

Almost unbelievable right?! Well it gets even better than that. ExpressTaxExempt new e-filing prices are also paired with exclusive features for each user. Users will have the ability to file and transmit with the #1 IRS-authorized e-filing solution, complete the filing process in an interview-style format, file for previous tax years (2015 and 2014), receive immediate email notifications regarding the acceptance or rejection of their return, free information return amendments, assistance from our U.S. based support team via phone, live chat, and email, along with many other great features. 

One may ask, “Why should I file with ExpressTaxExempt instead of another provider?” At ExpressTaxExempt, we provide security, ease, and peace of mind to exempt organizations and its leaders. We respect the services that nonprofit and exempt organizations provide to communities and are motivated to help with e-filing so you can get back to proudly making a difference in your community. With newly reduced pricing, organizations can now save funds annually when e-filing to maintain its tax exempt status. Pay us a visit at www.expresstaxexempt.com today and begin your e-filing process. 

If you have any questions about the e-filing process or need assistance while filing, feel free to contact us via phone at 704.839.2321 on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or reach out to us 24/7 via email at support@ExpressTaxExempt.com

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

5 Challenges Faced by Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations serve a great purpose and make a difference in the community daily. In order to stay both active and effective, nonprofits have to attract supporters to their cause and then convert those supporters to become donors or members that will support their work.  

Although nonprofits serve a great purpose, they are faced with various challenges along the way. Thankfully, there is always a way to turn those challenges into opportunities. We’ve listed some of these challenges and provided you with some tips on how to turn them around and make it work for your organization:

Nonprofit Challenges


1) Retaining/Engaging Donors

Without donors, nonprofits cannot survive. The organization-to-supporter relationship is very important. Today’s donors do not want to think that all you want from them is their money. Rather than asking for money right away, find ways to engage conversations with supporters and give them an opportunity to get to know your organization and build an emotional attachment to your work and mission. These are some good ways to keep donors invested: 
  • -Keep them engaged and let them know that they are part of the team. Let them know that they are an integral part to the organization. 
  • -Let donors know where their money is going and what it is supporting. Give monthly or quarterly updates via email or newsletter. 


2) Lack of Resources

When finances are limited and resources are scarce, it is beneficial to form partnerships with other organizations that have the similar mission and goals. By forming and fostering these relationships, you can achieve more on a larger scale. Remember, there is strength in numbers. 

3) Adequate Funding

Acquiring the necessary funds to adequately operate your organization in its full potential may be a bit of a challenge for some groups. Organizations can solicit funding from foundations, corporations, grants, and philanthropic individuals. Reaching out to local businesses in the community along with community leaders for sponsorships or donations. 

4) Public Awareness

New non-profit groups or organizations that may not be well known in their community yet should put focus on increasing awareness about who they are and what they do. Implementing an online marketing campaign/strategy will allow for your organization to be promoted to a larger audience and can also draw the attention of potential funding sources. Utilizing social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and more, will also be very beneficial in reaching larger audiences. 

5) Printed Communication

The days of paper-based marketing and sales are slowly, but surely fading away. For many years, organizations depended heavily on direct mail serving as their main point of contact with current and potential donors. Although direct mail still brings in some money, it mainly targets just one age bracket, which is age 55 and over and makes it quite difficult to track who opened and read the mailer that was mailed. 

The best way to solve this problem is to move online. Instead of sending letters, send emails with an intriguing subject line and include the information that you’re trying to disseminate. Also, if your organization has a website, you can add a “Donate Now” button to your home page which will allow donors to give online. Having the capability to receive donations online can also encourage donors to set up automatic payments and donations towards your organization each month. Plus, millennials are more prone to make donations via text or online if they are contacted through that medium. 

How To Maintain Tax-Exempt Status

In order to remain as a tax-exempt organization or to receive tax deductible donations to sustain the operation of your organization, you must in good standing with the IRS. This status can be maintained by e-filing with ExpressTaxExempt. Within minutes you will be able to successfully e-file one of the forms including in our Form 990 Series or our latest release for political organizations, Form 1120-POL.

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

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

10 Do's and Don'ts to Maintain Your Tax Exempt Status

Organizations worldwide have applied and received 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the IRS for years. Groups such as private foundations along with churches, hospitals, educational institutions and charities are exempt from federal income tax under the Internal Revenue Code. Maintaining this status can be just as easy as it is to lose it. 
Each year, over 100 501(c)(3) organizations have their tax-exempt status revoked. The most common cause of revocation is due to organizations that do not file their annual information return with the IRS for three consecutive years. These organizations find themselves in distress after being revoked and find out that it can be quite the hassle to bounce back from. 

An automatically revoked organization loses the eligibility to receive tax-deductible contributions as well being removed from a list of tax-exempt organizations that most donors reference prior to giving. Eliminate the worry and concern of ever having to be revoked or losing your tax-exempt status by following these “do’s and don’ts” to ensure you stay on the right track: 

"DO'S AND DON'TS"


DO’s: 
  • 1. File annual information returns with the IRS (Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, 990-PF and Form 1120-POL). 
  • 2. Withhold and Pay Payroll Taxes
  • 3. Keep Records
    • -Financial Records (Money coming in and out, employment tax records & asset records)
    • -Permanent Records
    • -Minutes from Board Meetings
    • -Copy of previous returns and attachments sent to the IRS from the the last three previous years. 
  • 4. Give donors that make a donation of $250 or more a written acknowledgement. If your group is soliciting contributions from individuals, you should provide a written receipt and register and file them in your annual reports with the states. 
  • 5. Serve the public - services and activities of a 501(c)(3) organization should be directed toward an exempt purpose and the overall betterment of the public. 
DONT’S: 
  • 1. Fail to file for 3 consecutive years
  • 2. Engage in Substantial Lobbying
  • 3. Participate in political campaign activity
    • -This includes campaign contributions, endorsements and public statements regarding candidates. 
  • 4.Serve private interests
    • -501(c)(3) organization activities should be directed toward an exempt purpose. 
  • 5. Unrelated Business Income
    • -Too much income received from activities not related to the purpose of the organization can become a threat for tax-exempt status to be removed.
By following these “do’s and don’ts” your organization can remain intact and effective. Losing tax-exempt status as a non-profit can strongly affect your organization in a negative way. If your organization does in fact get revoked at some point, there is still the opportunity available for you to be reinstated by the IRS. Although the law prohibits the IRS from undoing a proper automatic revocation, organizations can apply to have their exempt status reinstated. Reinstatement can happen four ways: 10 Streamlined retroactive reinstatement 2) Retroactive reinstatement process (within 15 months), 3) Retroactive reinstatement (after 15 months) and 4) Post-mark date reinstatement. 

Be sure to file those annual returns and stay in good standing with the IRS by quickly and securely e-filing with ExpressTaxExempt. As the number one authorized IRS tax e-file provider, ExpressTaxExempt offers simplified and easy-to-use versions of Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-N, and its newest form specifically designed for political organization returns, Form 1120-POL. So take a few minutes and file today to keep those taxes away! 

As always, 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 here to assist you Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or feel free to reach us 24/7 via email at support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

ExpressTaxExempt Now Offers Form 1120-POL for Political Organizations!


Political Organizations now have a form of their own to file their annual tax returns. Available through ExpressTaxExempt, Form 1120-POL has made it easier than ever for political organizations to transmit error-free returns to the IRS. 

Each year, political organizations and some tax-exempt organizations are required to file Form 1120-POL with the IRS if they have any taxable income. ExpressTaxExempt’s newest form provides a much faster and more secure       e-filing process that can be filled out and submitted directly to the IRS within minutes compared to the extended paper filing process. 

Since our mission at ExpressTaxExempt is to help organizations, we have created a simple and easy-to-use form that any leader can complete. With exclusive features such as our IRS-authorized status, interview-style process, internal error checks and US based support, Form 1120-POL is sure to be beneficial to political organizations worldwide. Furthermore, benefits of e-filing IRS form 1120-POL with ExpressTaxExempt include the support of all Form 1120-POL schedules and attachments, ability to add multiple users to manage, review, and approve the form on your behalf, retransmitting rejected forms at no extra cost, e-filing for unlimited organizations through one account, and receiving real-time e-mail notices throughout the e-filing process. 

The process to e-file Form 1120-POL is that of a very simple one and can be completed in five easy steps. Once these steps have been completed and all information has been confirmed, all that’s left to do is to simply pay and transmit directly to the IRS. As an IRS-authorized e-filing product, ExpressTaxExempt is able to offer e-filing Form 1120-POL at a very competitive rate. With no start-up costs or monthly fees, you will only pay a one-time transmittal fee of $49.90 to complete filing. 

ExpressTaxExempt also offers an extension service through affiliate ExpressExtension to file Form 1120-POL. Users can quickly file Form 7004 and be granted an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the information return. 

So this tax year, political organizations be sure to take advantage of the great benefits and features provided by Form 1120-POL by quickly, easily, and securely filing with ExpressTaxExempt. 

As always, 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 here to assist you Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or feel free to reach us 24/7 via email at support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.  

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Don't Miss Your Filing Deadline: Keep Your Tax-Exempt Status

Form 990-N e-filers and nonprofit organization leaders, don't miss an important upcoming deadline for tax exempt organizations. Organizations that operate on a fiscal tax year may need to file their return by Monday in order to keep their current tax exempt status. 

Form 990-N is due every year by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your tax year. For those that have a fiscal year that ended in February or March, your filing deadline is right around the corner: 

-February 28/29 (Fiscal Tax Year End Date) -- Due on Monday, July 17 (July 15 falls on a weekend) 
-March 31 (Fiscal Tax Year End Date) -- Due on Tuesday, August 15
-Click Here to file your organization's Form 990-N (e-Postcard) 

Filing Form 990-N (e-Postcard) is extremely easy and can be completed in three simple steps with ExpressTaxExempt:  
  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 your e-Postcard once you transmit your return. 
Although there is no penalty for filing Form 990-N late, organizations that fail to file for three consecutive years will automatically lose their tax-exempt status. If things are hectic for you right now, no need to worry. You can simply file an extension with ExpressExtension and receive an extra 6 months to file. 

Take advantage of our useful Fiscal Tax Year Filing Calendar chart below to find out when your Form 990-N is due: 

Tax Year Begin Date
Tax Year End Date
Form 990 Deadline
January 1
December 31
May 15
February 1
January 31
June 15
March 1
February 28/29
July 15
April 1
March 31
August 15
May 1
April 30
September 15
June 1
May 31
October 15
July 1
June 30
November 15
August 1
July 31
December 15
September 1
August 31
January 15
October 1
September 30
February 15
November 1
October 31
March 15
December 1
November 30
April 15

As always, 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 here to assist you Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or feel free to reach us 24/7 via email at support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Upcoming Form 990-N Deadline: Be Sure to File by July 15

An important deadline is approaching for tax exempt organizations and Form 990-N e-filers! Organizations that operate on a fiscal tax year may need to file a return by next week in order to keep their organization's current tax exempt status.

Form 990-N (e-Postcard) is due every year by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your tax year. A tax year is usually 12 consecutive months and is categorized as either a calendar tax year (January 1 - December 31) or a fiscal tax year (a period ending on the last day of any month except December).  Organization’s whose fiscal tax year ended in the month of February should file their Form 990-N via ExpressTaxExempt  by July 15. Since the July 15 due date falls on a Saturday, you will have two extra days to submit since filing will be extended to the following business day, which would be Monday, July 17th. Once again, all 990-N Forms for groups that have a fiscal tax year which ends in February should file no later than Monday, July 17th.

Although there is no penalty for filing Form 990-N late, organizations that fail to file for three consecutive years will automatically lose their tax-exempt status.

Filing a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) for your organization is very easy through ExpressTaxExempt and can be completed in three simple steps:

Search Organization's EIN 
  • Enter your Employer Identification Number (EIN) to view filing history and e-file your Form 990-N to the IRS. 
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. 
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. 

And just like that, your form is filed with the IRS and your organization remains tax exempt. It’s really easy as 1-2-3! If things are busy with your organization and you just don’t have the time to file the Form 990-N you can just take a few minutes and file Form 8868 with ExpressExtension and apply for a 6-month filing extension to get some more time.

Although your organization’s due date may not be July 15, you may have one coming up soon. Reference our Fiscal Tax Year Filing Calendar chart below to find out your deadline:

Tax Year Begin Date
Tax Year End Date
Form 990 Deadline
January 1
December 31
May 15
February 1
January 31
June 15
March 1
February 28/29
July 15
April 1
March 31
August 15
May 1
April 30
September 15
June 1
May 31
October 15
July 1
June 30
November 15
August 1
July 31
December 15
September 1
August 31
January 15
October 1
September 30
February 15
November 1
October 31
March 15
December 1
November 30
April 15

As always, 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 here to assist you Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or feel free to reach us 24/7 via email at support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.

Check-out some of our most recent blogs:
New Leadership? No Problem: Organizational Leadership Transition Tips

Give Now, Receive Later: Don't & Get Money Back

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Monday, July 3, 2017

New Leadership? No Problem: Organizational Leadership Transition Tips

As we ease into the month of July, some organizations are embracing [or planning to elect] new leadership to continue carrying out the work of their group. Good leaders strive to leave their organization in good standing and provide future leaders with ample information to ensure a smooth transition. While some organizations in this predicament may have a transition method in place to train new leaders, there are others that may need or want to implement some useful strategies to ensure the core leadership of their group remains solid.


Major things such as annual tax filing due dates, record keeping, or maintaining tax-exempt status cannot afford to “fall by the wayside” during each transition of leadership.

At ExpressTaxExempt, we realize that your mission is to help others, so now, let us help you! Here are some leadership transition tips that could be beneficial to your organization:


TRANSITION CHECKLIST

Get Organized - Prior to new leaders beginning their term, try your best to make sure things are organized so that leaders can focus on their duties without having to go against any unnecessary roadblocks.

Leadership Transition Binder - A great tool and gift to incoming leaders is to provide them with a binder that has all of the documents they need to be successful in their new leadership role. They will reference these items throughout their tenure, so make sure they are detailed and organized.
  • *Each binder should have general “must-haves” like the organization’s bylaws, calendar of events, etc., as well as specific documents that would be helpful to the individual and their position. For example, the organization’s treasurer or director of finance should receive information like previous financial records, state tax forms/info, tax filing information (EIN/Tax ID#, bank account information, pending significant financial transactions, fundraising information) and more.

-Discuss Organization’s Policies & Procedures
-Set realistic goals and objectives for the year
-Go over each leader’s duties in detail. Explain what they are and are not responsible for.  
-Inform New Leaders of Key External Relationships
  • *For leadership roles that require working relationships with other leaders outside of the organization, a Contact Sheet should be provided with contact information (name, title, email address, phone number) for each individual. 
With these useful tools and tips, your leadership team should be on the road to success as they continue to carry out the great work that your organization does from day to day. Be sure to keep your tax-exempt status by annually filing with ExpressTaxExempt. Unsure of your filing deadline? We have a Fiscal Tax Year Filing Calendar available for you to take advantage of. Enjoy your summer and feel free to comment with any other leadership transition tips and we’ll add them in!

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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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