New Electronic Filing Requirement for Small Tax-Exempt Organizations

Beginning in 2008, small tax-exempt organizations that previously were not required to file returns may be required to file an annual electronic notice, Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations not Required To File Form 990 or 990-EZ. This filing requirement applies to tax periods beginning after December 31, 2006.

Small tax-exempt organizations, whose gross receipts are normally $25,000 or less, are not required to file Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, or Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. With the enactment of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), these small tax-exempt organizations will now be required to file electronically Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard, with the IRS annually.

Exceptions to this requirement include organizations that are included in a group return, private foundations required to file Form 990-PF, and section 509(a)(3) supporting organizations required to file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ.

The IRS will mail educational letters starting in July 2007 notifying small tax-exempt organizations that they may be required to file the e-Postcard. The IRS is developing an electronic filing system (there will be no paper form) for the e-Postcard and will publicize filing procedures when the system is completed and ready for use.

The PPA requires the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt status of any organization that fails to meet its annual filing requirement for three consecutive years. Therefore, organizations that do not file the e-Postcard (Form 990-N), or an information return Form 990 or 990-EZ for three consecutive years, will have their tax-exempt status revoked as of the filing due date of the third year.

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