The Tax Filing Deadline Is Looming For California-Based Nonprofits

While April 15th has long been tax filing deadline day for most Americans, California-based nonprofit organizations must instead have their state and federal taxes filed by May 15th. With that date looming over the horizon, now is the perfect time to finalize your nonprofit tax filing.

California nonprofit tax filingFederal Filing Requirements

At the federal level, you will need to file one of the following documents:

Form 990: This is the standard tax filing document for nonprofits. It must be completed by any organization which normally has more than $200,000 in gross receipts – unless they are exempted from the filing requirements. Nonprofits with gross receipts below this figure can also opt to file Form 990 if they wish.

Form 990-EZ: This Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax document covers much of the same information as Form 990. However, it is quite a bit shorter and easier to complete. It is generally reserved for organizations with gross receipts of less than $200,000 and total assets of less than $500,000.

Form 990-N: For nonprofit organizations with gross receipts below $50,000, the filing requirements are even simpler. They can satisfy their filing requirements by submitting Form 990-N – otherwise known as the e-Postcard. Form 990-N must be completed online.

If you aren’t confident that you will be able to file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ before the deadline, you can always apply for an extension. Simply complete and submit Form 8868 to request an automatic six-month extension.

Form 8868 cannot be used to request an extension for Form 990-N. If you do not submit your e-Postcard on time, the IRS will send you a reminder to do so but will not assess any penalties.

California Filing Requirements

Filing with the state of California works in much the same way as filing federally. Nonprofits must submit one of the following two documents:

Form 199: California nonprofits which normally post gross receipts in excess of $50,000 will need to file Form 199. This document goes over a lot of the same information as the federal Form 990, so the two can often be completed in tandem.

Form 199N: Just as the federal government allows smaller organizations to file a much shorter return, so too does the state of California. Nonprofits with gross receipts of less than $50,000 can file Form 199N (California’s e-Postcard).

As long as your nonprofit has not been suspended, you can receive an automatic six-month filing extension from the state if you need it. However, you will still need to pay any owed taxes by the original due date.

Of course, when submitting paperwork to the state of California, you should also remember to file your annual RRF-1 documentation. Without doing so, your registration with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts will not be renewed. Your organization will then be listed as delinquent and you may eventually lose your tax-exempt status. For nonprofits whose fiscal year ends on December 31st, the deadline to file Form RRF-1 is May 15th.

In sum, make sure to complete all your nonprofit tax filing requirements to be compliant.  Check out our website for more on nonprofit law, and as always, reach out to Semanchik Law Group for all your nonprofit needs.