Does a Nonprofit Need to File Any Tax Returns Before They Apply for Tax Exempt Status?

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Does a Nonprofit Need to File Any Tax Returns Before They Apply for Tax Exempt Status?Does a Nonprofit Need to File Any Tax Returns Before They Apply for Tax Exempt Status?  IRS requires organizations to file information returns before they apply for tax exempt status.

Here’s what the IRS website states:

Tax Law Compliance Before Exempt Status Is Recognized

An organization that claims tax-exempt status under section 501(a), but has not yet received an IRS letter recognizing exempt status, is generally required to file an annual exempt organization return.

The IRS website goes on to explain when you must file an IRS information returns:

  • Before you apply for tax exempt status
  • While your application for tax exemption is pending
  • After granted 501c3 status by the IRS.

Fortunately, the form your organization (and all small nonprofits with annual gross revenues of less than $50,000) would need to file is the 990N, an electronic postcard that asks about 8 questions: name and address of organization, the principle officer’s name and check a box that your annual gross revenues are under $50,000.

It is very short and would take less than 10 minutes once a year.

How to get added to the IRS database and file the Form 990N

Listen to the podcast as Carol Topp, CPA explains this very confusing requirement from the IRS:



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Have more questions about your homeschool organization’s tax exempt status? My book, The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization would be a big help.

The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization

Does your homeschool group need to pay taxes? Could they avoid paying taxes by being a 501c3 tax exempt organization? Do you know the pros and cons of 501c3 status? Do you know what 501c3 status could mean for your homeschool group?

I have the answers for you in my book The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization. The information I share in my book has been helpful to homeschool support groups, co-ops, music and sports groups and will help you understand:

  • The benefits of 501c3 status
  • The disadvantages too!
  • What it takes to make the IRS happy
  • What your state requires
  • Why your organization should consider becoming a nonprofit corporation
  • What is the difference between nonprofit incorporation and tax exemption
  • IRS requirements after you are tax exempt

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