Tax Exempt & Nonprofit Tax Extension

Do you know the #1 reason why tax exempt organizations lose their tax exempt status? They do not file Form 990.

Side note: It is a lot easier for me to refer to both tax exempt and nonprofit organizations as simply -tax exempt. It’s almost like all nonprofits are tax exempt organizations, but not all tax exempt organizations are nonprofits. Similar to all thumbs are fingers, but not all fingers are thumbs. You get what I’m saying? I believe you do, so lets get to what this blog is really about.

There are a million reasons why a tax exempt organization doesn’t file their Form 990, but if this form is not filed for three consecutive years or more, tax exempt status is automatically revoked. One main reason this form is not filed is because the deadline is during a very inconvenient time and can be easily forgotten. The IRS doesn’t send any notices letting you know that  your 990 is due soon, or you missed filing your 990, or if your tax exempt status has been revoked. So you really need to mark your calendar for your 990 deadline.

When is the 990 deadline?
The 990 deadline is the 15th day of the 5th month after the last day of your tax year (fiscal or calendar). For example; if your tax year ended on December 31st, then your 990 is due by May 15th of the following year.

If you need more time to file your Form 990, you can extend your deadline with Form 8868.

  • You can’t extend the deadline for a 990-N, but honestly the 990-N only takes a few moments to complete and can be e-file from anywhere with our 990-N App

Form 8868
Form 8868 is an application for extension of time to file an exempt organization return. When e-filed, it will give you an automatic 3 month extension. If you need additional time, Form 8868 can be e-filed a second time to request an added 3 months (but it’s not automatic). Organizations that can file Form 8868 include: charitable organizations, churches and religious organizations, private foundations, and other nonprofits.

Form 8868 is pretty simple to complete and transmit to the IRS, and you could have your return accepted in as little as 15 minutes. This form needs to be filed by the deadline of your Form 990.

Just remember, if you are a tax exempt or nonprofit organization, you need to file a Form 990 (whether is be the 990-N, 990-EZ, 990-PF, or 990) every year. If you do not file for more than three consecutive years, your tax exempt status will be revoked. When more time is all you need to file Form 990, e-file an extension to save you from deadline stress. If you have any questions about e-filing Form 8868, don’t hesitate to contact our Express990 Support team via phone: 704-839-2321 or email:

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