By Year’s End

Twenty-two weeks left until Thanksgiving?
Twenty-seven until Christmas?!
Time certainly doesn’t wait on anyone, but can you believe how fast we’ve blown through the first half of the year? The weather was just beginning to warm up a couple of months ago and now it’s hot, scorching hot, depending on your location. In about two months time, it’s going to start cooling down again. Where does the time go?

By running a tax-exempt organization, you probably have less time than most, especially if your organization operates on a fiscal tax year and your return deadline falls within the second half of the year. Along with filing the appropriate tax exempt return (Form 990, Form 990-EZ, Form 990-N (e-Postcard)), here are seven other items that specialists advise their tax-exempt clients to have done by the end of the year.

1. Annual Meeting
Most corporate bylaws and state statutes require that the board of directors meet at least once every year. Typically, the meeting is where your board or voting members fill any open spots, appoint officers, approve budget, and pretty much make other executive-type decisions.

2. Annual Report
Along with the annual meeting, there’s also the annual report that’s required to be filed with your organization’s state of incorporation and any other states you may be registered to do business in. Failure to file this report could lead to less of a good standing with the state and ultimately administrative dissolution. The year’s end is an ideal time to make sure all filings are up to date and to determine whether your organization will conduct business within new areas that may require registration.

3. Solicitation Registrations
Make sure your solicitation registrations are current. A lot of states and local areas require tax-exempt organizations to register before you can solicit funds in that area. Now, the word solicit is broadly defined and may surround any request targeted to residents within the area.
Most locations require renewals every year, which makes the year’s end a good time to figure out whether your organization is registered in all of the locations where you plan to raise funds in the following year. And it’s also the best time to check the status of renewals in locations you’re already registered.

4. Gift Administration Issues
To make sure that terms and restrictions are recognized, the year’s end is a proper time to review your organization’s grant agreements.

5. Insurance Policies
Examples include general liability, officer liability, etc. Use this time to determine whether there are adequate limits of coverage and if your organization’s current activities are covered by its policies.

6. Private Foundation Considerations
To avoid excise tax penalties, you could spend your funds in charitable activities or make grants to public charities. Contact a certified tax accountant to find out how much could be spent. You’re also going to want to look back through your business holdings of private foundations and disqualified persons to make sure they don’t altogether exceed 20% of voting influence.

7. Thank Your Donors with Proper Gift Receipts
If donors don’t receive a gift receipt by the end of the year to confirm their tax deduction, they may feel inclined to not donate again. Also, make an effort to ensure that contributions from donors are properly recognized and in compliance with IRS protocol.

Whether you want to end your year strongly or begin the second half of the year in good standing, Express990 can help with the e-filing of any of the 990 forms for tax-exempt organizations. Express990 works closely with the IRS to bring you a safe, secure, and accurate e-filing process, backed by expert professionals that will save you time and money.

For assistance with e-filing any of our available 990 forms, contact our live support by phone Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm, Eastern Standard Time, at (704) 839-2321, by email at, or by live chat at the Express990 website


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