Miss the 990 Deadline? Here’s What to Do

In case you missed it, the 990 Form deadline for calendar tax year filers was May 15!

And if you did miss it, you may be wondering, “What now?” Because, while we all know the IRS isn’t really a fan of people missing their deadlines, they are pretty adamant about making sure tax forms are filed anyway. Well we’re here to tell ya:

First, Make Sure This Was Your Deadline
Remember: the Form 990 deadline works a little differently than other IRS information returns. Rather than one set deadline for all tax-exempt organizations each year, your deadline is determined by your organization’s tax year end date. The May 15th deadline is the 990 Form due date for organizations that operate on a calendar tax year, which starts on January 1 and ends December 31 each year.

If your organization does operate on a calendar year tax year, move on to the next section for what to do next. If your organization has a tax year with a different start and end date, your deadline is the fifteenth day of the fifth month following your tax year end date.

If It Was, Complete and File Your Return ASAP
Don’t even think about potential penalties: your mission is to accurately complete your return and file it as soon as you can. Of course, if you’re e-filing the e-Postcard, you don’t need to worry about penalties; there are no immediate monetary penalties for filing Form 990-N late, but if you miss filing it for your organization for 3 years, tax-exempt status is automatically revoked.

Now, for you 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF filers, the IRS penalty for late filing illustrates why it’s important to file as soon as possible after missing the deadline. For tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts less than $1,000,000, the IRS imposes a penalty of $20 per day for each day the return is late. In other words, the penalty for filing a few days late isn’t nearly as steep as it is for filing a few months late.

And Heads Up: You May Still Be In a Perfection Period
Now we’re going to throw out a slightly different late-filing scenario that may apply to your organization. Let’s say you did file your 990 Form a few days before or on the actual deadline, but it was rejected by the IRS for containing errors.

Luckily, even if you end up filing your corrected return after the deadline, your return may still be considered filed on time if you’ve filed within the IRS’s Perfection Period. You see, when you file a return and it’s rejected for errors, you have a Perfection Period of 10 days (5 days for Form 8868) to correct and re-transmit your return. If everything is correctly filed during that Perfection Period and your return is accepted by the IRS, they’ll consider it having been filed correctly on the date you initially filed. So if your form was rejected Friday before the deadline, you’re still within the 10-day Perfection Period and can file without receiving a late-filing penalty.

Whatever the Case, We’re Here For You
Just remember in the hustle and bustle of it all that, if things get a little too hectic, ExpressTaxExempt is here for you! We’ve got tons of information all around our site for tax-exempt organizations, and our support team is always ready to answer any questions you may have about tax-exempt e-filing or your 990 Form. So if you need us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us a live chat or email!

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