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ExpressTaxExempt Blog

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Upcoming Filing Deadline for Exempt Organization Employers



Has your organization employed individuals to help carry out the mission of the group?
Do you or someone you know own and operate a business with employees?
If so, as an employer, it is required that you file Form 941 with the IRS quarterly.

Employers are responsible for withholding federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax from each of their employee’s salary. Form 941, also known as the Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return, is used to report these employment taxes quarterly and assists with calculating the employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare tax.

Quarterly Filing Deadlines:

Form 941 has a total of four filing deadlines each year. These deadlines are split into first, second, third, and fourth quarters with the following due dates:




Form 941 Quarterly Filing DeadlinesWith only two days left in the month of September, the Third Quarter deadline is right around the corner. Be sure to file your Form 941 no later than October 31 with ExpressTaxFilings.

Filing Process:

Most people think that filing taxes can be a headache and an extremely time consuming process...not with our sister product, ExpressTaxFilings! You will only need two major pieces of information to get started--Employer and Employment Details.


Employer details include the employer’s name, EIN, and address; while employment details include the following:
  • Employee Count
  • Medicare Tax & Social Security
  • Deposit Made to the IRS
  • Tax Liability (Monthly/Semiweekly)
  • Signing Authority Information
  • Online Signature PIN or Form 8453-EMP

Once that is entered all you will need to do is review the completed form, pay a small, affordable price per form, and transmit directly to the IRS. And just like that, you’ve avoided IRS penalties and compliance issues.

Well, since we said the word ‘penalties’ let’s just go ahead and discuss it briefly so you know what you’re avoiding when filing with us.

Form 941 IRS Penalties:

Failure to file by the Form 941 deadline will result in a 5% penalty on the tax return for each month that the return is late. Although this penalty cpas at 25%, the IRS will penalize you heavily for late payment or not paying the full amount owed. Your organization will be charged 2-15% of the unpaid tax determined by the number of days it remains unpaid.

NOTE: Late deposit penalty amounts are determined using calendar days, starting from the due date of the liability.

Next Steps:

Out of the many components to running your organization, one of the most important is staying in compliance with the IRS. ExpressTaxFilings, sister product to ExpressTaxExempt, is an industry leader for online tax preparation and tax filings which offers accurate and efficient e-filing at prices that can’t be beaten! Visit their website today to find out more information about Form 941 and the other services that ExpressTaxFilings offer.

As always, we at ExpressTaxExempt aim to help all exempt organizations and hope that your organization can benefit from both of our services. If you need any assistance with filing, just know that we’re available to assist you 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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Friday, September 22, 2017

America's Got Talent....And So Does Your Organization!

Little Girl Performing at Talent ShowIf you’re a fan of the hit televised talent showcase “America’s Got Talent,” also known as “AGT,” your eyes may have been glued to the TV Wednesday night during the show’s season finale.

Out of the various stellar performances by the final round of contestants on the summer’s most-watched series, there is one in particular that’s receiving a lot of buzz.


Country superstar Shania Twain joined America’s Got Talent finalist Mandy Harvey for an emotional duet of Twain’s 1998 hit song, “You’re Still the One.” Harvey, who ended the show in fourth place, has been deaf for the last decade but continuously “wowed” the judges and viewers throughout the AGT season.


Although the latest season of AGT has come to an end, that doesn’t mean that talent showcases around the world have to cease too. Besides, there’s probably tons of talent within your nonprofit organization that can be showcased!


Talent Show Fundraiser

An easy way to highlight the talents of your organization’s members, their children, friends, and those in your community, is by hosting a talent show; which can also be a great fundraising event as well!


Simply form a talent show committee within your organization that will audition contestants, select judges, and plan the format of the event. Once the event is planned, decide on an admission fee (this can be as low or as high as you’d like), have a flyer designed, and promote your event locally and through social media.

Social Media Integration

A neat way to add a special touch to your event is by creating a Snapchat Geofilter. Geofilters are creative overlays that capture where you are or what you’re up to in a Snap. Create your own and surprise Snapchatters in the location you choose.

Also, hashtags can be used for sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well (ex: #PantherIdol #CMHSGotTalent, etc) to inform others of your fundraising initiatives.

The Grand Finale

Whether it’s a spin-off of America’s Got Talent, American Idol, or even a religiously based version like Sunday’s Best, talent shows are a simple, easy, and fun way to raise funds while having a great time enjoying the various acts. You’d be surprised at how many singers, musicians, dancers, comedians and ventriloquists that are in your area.

When planning and hosting your event, be sure to keep track of any receipts, expenses, and funds collected throughout the process so you have accurate records when you e-file with ExpressTaxExempt to maintain your tax exempt status with the IRS. Visit our website for any tax forms that your tax exempt organization may need throughout this year and save even more when you e-file with our recently reduced filing rates! We’re available to assist you 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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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tax Exempt Organizations and Nonprofits: Are They The Same Thing?


Nonprofit vs. Tax Exempt | They’re the same thing, right? Or are they different? Hmm...

Often times the terms “nonprofit” and “tax exempt” are used interchangeably in conversation. While tax exempt status is conferred and determined by the IRS.
Many organizations are both nonprofit and tax exempt, there is an important distinction between the two. For example, nonprofit status is designated by the state while

Here’s a more detailed explanation on nonprofits and tax exempt organizations:

What is required for an organization to be considered a nonprofit?

According to the IRS, nonprofit status is a state law concept; meaning that an organization must apply for and receive nonprofit recognition from the state in which it does business. 

Once an organization has become a nonprofit it receives benefits, determined by its state, which includes exemption from property taxes, state and local income taxes, franchise taxes, and sales taxes for that state specifically. 

Misconception of Nonprofit Organizations

One of the main misconceptions of nonprofit organizations is that these groups are NOT allowed to make any profits throughout their calendar year. In all actuality, nonprofits usually have to turn a regular profit in order to function and operate effectively. Things such as facility upkeep and equipment purchases or repairs, require additional funds that go far beyond their annual expenses. 

As a nonprofit organization, these groups are allowed to receive funds, but any surplus of profit cannot be distributed to an organization’s members, employees, officers, or shareholders, and must be used within the organization to further the mission and goals of the nonprofit. 

How does an organization receive Tax Exempt Status?

An organization who has been granted tax exempt status must have received this recognition from the federal government. Being tax exempt essentially boils down to these two things:

1) The organization does NOT have to pay corporate income taxes on any money generated from the organization 

2) Those who donate money to the [tax exempt] organization can use a tax deduction for their donations when filing their taxes. 

Although most believe that many nonprofits automatically have a tax exempt status, they must apply for tax exempt status separately. The requirements for acquiring tax exempt status can be found in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Generally, the main requirement to have tax exempt status is that the organization must be organized and operated specifically for charitable, religious, educational, cultural, scientific or humanitarian purposes. 

What does it mean to be tax exempt?

Sounds like a self-explanatory question right? Unfortunately, most misconceive the tax exempt reality. Organizations that are tax exempt technically aren’t completely exempt from tax. 

Although exempt organizations are not required to pay federal income tax, they are still subject to state and local taxes unless there’s a nonprofit designation which exempts them from those payments. 

Additionally, most exempt groups have to pay the employer’s share of their workers’ Medicare & Social Security taxes along with federal unemployment taxes. 

Maintaining Your Tax Exempt Status

As a nonprofit organization, it is crucial that you maintain your tax-exempt status with the IRS. ExpressTaxExempt, the #1 IRS-authorized tax e-filing solution for tax-exempt organizations, allows you to do just that. Providing security, ease, and peace of mind to organizations and its leaders, we respect the services that nonprofit organizations give 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 rates, organizations can now save funds annually when e-filing Form 990 Series (Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-N, and Form 1120-POL). Pay us a visit at www.expresstaxexempt.com today and begin your e-filing process. 


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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Is My 990 Information Return Due on September 15th?

Does your organization operate on a fiscal tax year instead of a calendar tax year? Are you unsure of what the difference is between the two? Well let’s find out right now!

If your organization operates from January 1 to December 31 it is considered to have a calendar tax year with a standard tax filing deadline each year. Organizations that function for 12 consecutive months but end on any month besides December are operated as a fiscal tax year. 

Tax exempt organizations that operate on a fiscal tax year and function from May 1 to April 30 have a tax filing deadline this Friday, September 15th to file their 990 Information Returns. 

Form 990 is considered to be the Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax form which many tax exempt organizations such as religious groups, educational groups, charities, and other nonprofit groups are required to file each year to provide the public with financial information about their organization. 

Forms included in the Form 990 Series are Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, and 990-N. Form 1120-POL, the newest ExpressTaxExempt tax form, is specifically designed for political organization tax filing. The appropriate form that your organization should file will be dependent upon the amount of gross receipts that it accumulates throughout its accounting period (tax year). 

To find out which tax form your organization should e-file, click here.

Is your nonprofit's tax return due tomorrow (September 15)?

 

No need to worry or stress out! Our user-friendly tax filing software makes your e-filing experience very simple and easy to complete. Simply go to ExpressTaxExempt to begin filing or if you need some extra time to gather all of your information, quickly file a Form 8868 for a Form 990 Extension to avoid penalties and receive an additional 6 months of filing time for your tax exempt organization. 

Operating your nonprofit organization without tax-exempt status can be extremely challenging and quite difficult. Eliminate the worry and concern of losing your tax status or even regain tax-exempt status by filing your Form 990 series returns with us at ExpressTaxExempt. With affordable pricing and a safe, secure and easy-to-use e-filing system, organizations can quickly and accurately file their forms directly to the IRS. Need help during the filing process? No worries. We’re always here to help! Feel free to contact our support team of e-file experts at 704.839.2321 for any questions or help with the 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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Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11th: A Day to Never Forget

With recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and the onset of Hurricanes Irma & Jose, many have found themselves fully engulfed with the many updates, changes, and effects of the storms. 

However, in the midst of all that is going on around the world, today is a day that we will never forget. On September 11, 2001, the world as we knew it changed forever. The September 11 attacks, also known as “9/11,” were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks which resulted in two planes crashing into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, followed by a third plane which crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. 

The attacks on September 11, 2001 killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000, and is considered to be the single deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States. 

The ExpressTaxExempt team pauses on this solemn day each year to remember those who were killed, recognize all who survived, honor the sacrifices of the recovery workers and first responders, and recapture the spirit of unity and service that arose in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. 

May we never forget what happened and ever be in pursuit of wisdom and courage to deal with those whose philosophy thrives on hate. Our continued prayers are with all who were affected on this tragic day many years ago. 

About ExpressTaxExempt

ExpressTaxExempt respects the services that exempt organizations provide to communities and serves as the premier hub for everything tax exempt. Our service is dedicated to providing the best and most efficient e-filing experience for tax-exempt organizations, no matter how big or small. For more information about ExpressTaxExempt, visit our website. If you need help with tax exempt e-filing, contact us Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST at (704) 839-2321 and through live chat on our site. We also offer 24/7 email assistance at support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Turn Your Nonprofit Obstacles Into Opportunities


Nonprofit organizations serve a great purpose and make a significant difference in the community daily. Although the mission of nonprofits is positive, they are faced with various challenges along the way. Each challenge presents it own obstacles but can turn into opportunities for growth and overall victory. Here are some challenges that nonprofit organizations face and how to turn them around to make it work for your organization:

POLITICAL LEADERSHIP CHANGES
Regardless of the political party that you or your team may side with, a level of uncertainty comes with a new direction of local, state, and national governmental leadership. Groups such as nonprofits can be impacted by these changes due to the difficulty in being able to adequately conduct any long-term planning for their organization.

The best way to face this challenge is to sketch out annual objectives and goals for the upcoming year while also including backup plans that will allow you and your group to have another option to fall back on in case you have to derive from your original plan.

ADEQUATE FUNDING
Along with new technology comes new ways that donors can give donations. A way to increase donations for your organization is by having an online portal that accepts donations. By accepting financial donations online, donors will feel that they can give in a more convenient way through their tablet or mobile devices. Also invent in a Square Chip Card Reader, a device which will allow your organization to receive payments through your mobile device or iPad.

LACK OF VOLUNTEERS
In order to reach the goal that your non-profit organization has set, a few extra helping hands may be needed. An easy way to gain these helpers is by reaching out to college clubs and organizations to receive some young, vibrant volunteers. Many college students are interested in lending a helping hand and gaining some community service at the same time. Also, a good bit of college organizations have a community service initiative that they strive to complete each semester. When it comes to community service, “the more, the merrier” is sometimes best.  

It is also important to keep record of any individual or group that volunteers with you, as most will need a signature or some form of verification from a designated leader within your organization validating the time they volunteered.

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 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.

INNOVATIVE & EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
Many aspects of today’s communication are focused on digital outlets like social media, text messaging, and mobile app usage. Although the ways of communication have changed, that doesn’t mean that your donors have adapted or changed their preferred type of communication.

Due to this dilemma, organization leaders are having to find new ways to communicate their needs and announcements to various demographics. The best way to tackle this issue is by sending one message but taking an omni-channel approach.

Messages sent through social media would use a more “trendy” approach with non-extensive writing vs. a professional email or phone call that would be more conversational. It is also suggested and very important to survey the key constituents of your organization to see which method they prefer.

FINAL STEPS
By facing these challenges and turning them into opportunities, your organization can have an awesome year of philanthropy and service! As a nonprofit organization, it is crucial that you maintain your tax-exempt status with the IRS. ExpressTaxExempt, the #1 IRS-authorized tax e-filing solution for tax-exempt organizations, allows you to do just that. Providing security, ease, and peace of mind to organizations and its leaders, we respect the services that nonprofit organizations give 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 rates, organizations can now save funds annually when e-filing. Pay us a visit at www.expresstaxexempt.com today and begin your e-filing process.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

International Day of Charity: Support & Give Back Today

ExpressTaxExempt Blog

“Every good act is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.” -- Moliere


Did you know that today, Tuesday, September 5, 2017 is the International Day of Charity? If you’re like me, you may have recently returned from a Labor Day Weekend vacation or even enjoyed a great cookout with friends and family on your day off on Monday.

Labor Day Weekend has ended and now we’re “back to life...back to reality!” As we get back into the swing of things to finish out the rest of this week, take a few moments and help make the world a better place by making a donation to charity on International Day of Charity.

Donations can be given to charities that support the environment, protect children, feed the hungry, or help worthy causes. Of course, with their being so many charities to choose from, it’s quite hard to choose which one to give to. We did some research and found some of the top 10 charities that are making a difference in the world which you could consider donating to. Check out the list below:

Charitable Organizations



Natural Resources Defense Council
Based in New York City, this organization has worked with businesses, elected officials, and community groups on issues such as global warming, ocean cleaning, and food security. Natural Resources Defense Council website.


United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation is a U.S. public charity founded by Ted Turner which partners with others around the world to tackle issues such as global health, climate change, poverty, women’s empowerment and more. Visit the United Nations Foundation to donate.




Caring Voice Coalition
The Caring Voice Coalition puts its efforts towards empowering patients who live with a life-threatening chronic disease by providing outreach programs and services aimed to provide financial, emotional, and educational support. Caring Voice Coalition website.



Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Established in 1950 and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina, this association aims to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible around the world. The association has a weekly Hour of Decision radio program broadcast, syndicated newspaper column entitled “My Answer,” and also has the Billy Graham Response Team which provides emotional and spiritual care to individuals and communities living through a sudden tragedy. To donate, visit the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.



Catholic Medical Mission Board
This group provides healthcare for the world’s most poor and does so by building healthy, sustainable communities through local engagement and partnerships. These causes are targeting in communities throughout Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Catholic Medical Mission Board website.



AmeriCares
AmeriCares serves as an emergency response and global health organization that aids those in crisis. Established in 1979, AmeriCares has delivered more than $12 billion in humanitarian aid to 164 countries, including the United States. To support AmeriCares, click here.  


To assist the victims of Hurricane Harvey, see our most recent blog post:



Samaritan’s Purse
The Samaritan’s Purse has met the needs of those who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine, while including the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. Its most popular mission, Operation Christmas Child, has delivered more than 135 million shoe boxes filled with gifts to poor children in more than 150 countries. Visit the Samaritan’s Purse website today to make a donation.


MAP International
Founded in 1954, MAP International helps prevent disease by improving water supplies and promotes health to create hope and lasting change in more than 115 countries. Their annual efforts include partnering with local leaders to help educate and train communities to deal with health threats such as HIV/AIDS. Visit their website at www.map.org for more information and ways to donate.


Direct Relief
Direct Relief is California’s largest international humanitarian nonprofit organization which provides medical assistance to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty and disaster in the United States and throughout the world. More than $3.4 billion in medical supplies and equipment has been provided since its inception in 1948. Visit the Direct Relief website to support their efforts.  


Take Action

Let’s celebrate International Day of Charity by supporting a charity of your choice and helping those that are in need. Remember, charitable donations can be listed as a deduction on your taxes, so be sure to keep record of your gift. For more information on Charitable Donation Deductions, click here.  If you know of other charities that could use our support, please leave a comment below. At ExpressTaxExempt, we respect the services that exempt organizations provide to communities and we’re motivated to help with your e-filing needs so you can get back to proudly serving your community. Visit our website for any tax forms that your tax exempt organization may need throughout this year and save even more when you e-file with our recently reduced filing rates! We’re available to assist you 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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