Filing for the Wrong Tax Year: What Should You Do Next?

If you ever want to see someone raise their eyebrow or look stunned when checking their mailbox, let them receive a letter from the IRS. Although millions of letters and notices are mailed to taxpayers each year, there is still that worry and concern that immediately comes over you when you first see that sealed envelope from the IRS with your name on it. Fortunately, all letters from the IRS are not negative and many may be very easy to resolve.

Organizations that file a 990 Series or 1120-POL tax form must file each year by the due date that correlates with the selected form. If not, the IRS will contact you by mail, informing you that you have missed your filing deadline. When receiving letters like this, the first thing you need to do is BREATHE! There’s no need to panic. Read the letter thoroughly and follow the instructions that the IRS has listed in the correspondence. Any notice sent from the IRS usually covers a specific issue about your tax return or account, so be sure to handle that issue as soon as possible.

From various conversations with many of our awesome ExpressTaxExempt customers, we have noticed that we receive quite a bit of calls yearly inquiring about a letter received from the IRS stating that their organization did not file for a previous tax year ending on a specific date. For example, you may receive a letter stating that “XYZ Organization failed to file its 990-N return for the tax year ending on June 30, 2016…” Initially, the solution to this dilemma would be to e-file online within minutes at; but what tax year should you technically be filing for?

A “tax year” is an annual accounting period for keeping records and reporting income and expenses. There are two types of tax years that you can follow, those being a Calendar Year (12 consecutive months beginning January 1 and ending December 31) or a Fiscal Year (12 consecutive months ending the last day of any month except December).

So if you receive a letter that’s referring to a tax year ending in 2016, that means you need to submit a return for the 2015 tax year (which ended in 2016).

EXAMPLE: Tax Year of June 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017 | File for 2016 Tax Year
      Tax Year of February 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016 | File for 2015 Tax Year
        Tax Year of March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015 | File for 2014 Tax Year

As expected, it is very important for Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-N users to file the appropriate returns yearly. Although there is no penalty assessment for Filing Form 990-N late, all organizations that fail to file the required 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N forms for three consecutive years will automatically be revoked and lose their tax-exempt status, which can be detrimental to the long-term success of an organization. Avoid finding yourself in this predicament by quickly, safely, and easily e-filing your form with ExpressTaxExempt. Our newly reduced filing rates will help your organization save funds as well. So 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 [email protected] if you have any questions about the e-filing process.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *