IRS Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Public Charities & Resources for Nonprofit Organizations.

IRS Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Public Charities & Resources for Nonprofit Organizations.

As the Executive Director of a startup non-profit, Together for Good Worldwide, I feel it is my responsibility to ensure that our organization follows all local laws and federal requirements.

This post was originally just going to be for private reference but might be valuable to anyone who is interested in understanding nonprofit tax-compliance in the United States.

If you found this post useful in any way, let me know!

Sincerely,
Parker


IRS Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Public Charities

Includes:

  • Activities that may jeopardize a charity’s exempt status
  • Federal information returns, tax returns or notices that must be filed
  • Recordkeeping — why, what, when
  • Governance considerations
  • Changes to be reported to the IRS
  • Required public disclosures
  • Resources for public charities

VIEW THE OFFICIAL PDF HERE


Additional Resources:

Tax Forms:

  • Form 990 : Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax
  • Form 990-EZ: Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax
  • Form 990-EZ: Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required To File Form 990 or 990-EZ. (under $50,000 income)

Filing Dates:
Forms 990, 990-EZ and 990-N must be filed by the 15th day of the fifth month after the end of the organization’s tax year. (Tax returns in the U.S. are usually due on April 15 of the following year covering the calendar year period.)

The due date for the Forms 990 and 990-EZ may be automatically extended for six months by filing Form 8868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization
Return, before the due date


501(c)(3) Application Guide

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE

Life Cycle of a Public Charity

VIEW ON IRS WEBSITE
During its existence, a public charity has numerous interactions with the IRS – from filing an application for recognition of tax-exempt status, to filing the required annual information returns, to making changes in its mission and purpose. The IRS provides information, explanations, guides, forms and publications on all of these subjects – they are available through this IRS Web site.


Tax Publications for Exempt Organizations:
Get publications via the internet or by calling the IRS at 800-829-3676.

Pub 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer,
Pub 15, (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide,
Pub 15-A, Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide,
Pub 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses,
Pub 517, Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers,
Pub 526, Charitable Contributions,
Pub 538, Accounting Periods and Methods,
Pub 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization,
Pub 571, Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans (403(b) Plans) for Employees of Public Schools and Certain Tax-Exempt Organizations,
Pub 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records,
Pub 598, Tax on Unrelated Business Income of Exempt Organizations,
Pub 1771, Charitable Contributions—Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements, Pub 1828, Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations,
Pub 3079, Tax-Exempt Organizations and Gaming,
Pub 3833, Disaster Relief, Providing Assistance Through Charitable Organizations, Pub 4220, Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status,
Pub 4221-NC, Compliance Guide for Tax-Exempt Organizations (other than 501(c)(3) Public Charities and Private Foundations),
Pub 4221-PF, Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Private Foundations,
Pub 4302, A Charity’s Guide to Vehicle Donation,
Pub 4303, A Donor’s Guide to Vehicle Donation,
Pub 4630, The Exempt Organizations Products and Services Catalog,
Pub 4779, Facts about Terminating or Merging Your Exempt Organization,

Forms for Exempt Organizations

Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return,
Form 944, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return,
Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax,
Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1) Trust Treated as Private Foundation,
Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or 990-EZ (available electronically only),
Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return (and proxy tax under section 6033(e)),
Form 990-W, Estimated Tax on Unrelated Business Taxable Income for
Tax-Exempt Organizations (and on Investment Income for Private Foundations),
Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,
Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (available electronically only)
Form 1024, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(a),
Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts,
Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code,
Form 5578, Annual Certification of Racial Nondiscrimination for a Private School Exempt From Federal Income Tax,
Form 5768, Election/Revocation of Election by an Eligible Section 501(c)(3) Organization To Make Expenditures To Influence Legislation,
Form 8282, Donee Information Return (Sale, Exchange, or Other Disposition of Donated Property)
Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions,
Form 8868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return,
FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts