May 15 Deadline Looming for Large Tax-Exempt Organizations

The deadline for large tax-exempt organizations to electronically file federal information returns, including Form 990, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is May 15. Exempt organizations are required to file these returns electronically if they have $100 million in total assets and file at least 250 returns per year – including income, excise, employment tax and information returns, such as forms W-2 and 1099. All tax-exempt organizations not required to e-file are encouraged to do so voluntarily.

“IRS has worked closely with our stakeholders to ensure that our e-filing procedures meet their needs,” said Steven T. Miller, Commissioner of the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division. “But equally important is that e-filing greatly enhances the transparency of the operations of the tax-exempt community, a key component of public confidence.”

The IRS has already received more than 3,600 information returns this year from exempt organizations taking advantage of electronic filing which has been available to tax-exempt organizations since 2004. The IRS received about 6,700 electronically filed information returns from tax-exempt organizations in 2005.

Exempt organizations that cannot meet the May 15 deadline may request an automatic extension using Form 8868 and file by August 15, 2006. Exempt organizations are encouraged to file their extension forms electronically, as well.

For tax years ending on or after December 31, 2006, the electronic filing requirement will be expanded to include the year 2006 returns of tax-exempt organizations with $10 million or more in total assets that file at least 250 returns per year. In addition, private foundations and charitable trusts will be required to electronically file Form 990-PF, regardless of asset size, if they file at least 250 returns per year.

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