Find Your Tax Year Dates

One of the most common reasons we see a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) rejected is because of incorrect tax year periods. It’s a rejection with a fairly simple fix, but we understand why it happens, especially if you’re filing your organization’s tax return for the very first time. You may not be aware of your organization’s tax year period, also known as accounting period, or the fact that such a thing exists.
Usually, you would have to get in contact with the IRS Tax-Exempt Hotline to inquire about your exemption status, Employer Identification Number (EIN), and things of that nature. But the IRS also has what they call their EO Select Check; the “EO” stands for Exempt Organization. The page allows you to look up your tax-exempt organization and view whether you:

  • Are eligible to receive tax-deductible, charitable contributions
  • Were automatically revoked
  • Have filed Form 990-N (e-Postcard)

If you been placed to file your exempt organization’s tax return for the first time, and you don’t happen to know your tax period, you should select the third option (Have Filed Form 990-N (e-Postcard)) and search using your organization’s EIN. If your organization has filed a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) before, you’ll see a list of each year it was filed. Click on your organization’s name, and it’ll show details about the filing. And at the very top, you’ll see the correct tax period for your organization.

For more information about the IRS EO Select Check, be sure to check out the following blog:

All About the EO Select Check

IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that there are two types of tax year periods, or accounting periods.

If your tax period is listed as from January 1 to December 31, then your organization operates on what is called a Calendar Tax Year; many exempt organizations have this type of tax year.
If your tax period begins or ends any date other than January 1 or December 31, like from October 1 to September 30 for instance, your tax period is considered as a Fiscal Tax Year.

Be sure to select the most appropriate tax year when e-filing a Form 990-N (e-Postcard), or any 990 form, for your organization.
For more information about accounting periods, you should consider reading

What Is A Fiscal Year?
What is an Accounting Period?

Once you know what your exempt organization’s tax period is, you can e-file your Form 990-N (e-Postcard) quickly and easily with Express990. Simply enter your organization’s details, select your tax period, indicate gross receipts are less than $50,000, authorize, and transmit to the IRS; it takes less than 10 minutes.

You can also e-file from anywhere you may be with our FREE Express990 App for iOS/Android tablets, or our mobile site designed for any web-enabled mobile phone.

For any questions or assistance with our e-filing service, feel free to contact our live, expert help at our headquarters in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Phone: (704) 839-2321 (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Eastern Standard Time)
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