Form 990 Filing Period Extended 60 Days

Tax-exempt organizations will have an extra two months to file their federal Form 990 because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended the April 15 deadline for individual taxpayers and now has done the same for nonprofits.

Organizations are required to file the Form 990 no later than 4½ months after the end of their fiscal year. For nonprofits that operate on a fiscal year ending Dec. 31, that would normally mean filing their Form 990 by May 15. Some organizations file extensions until Aug. 15, or sometimes even Nov. 15 at the latest. Now, charities will have until July 15 to file their 990 without having to file any extension.

“The IRS had left charitable nonprofits out of the solution when it extended the Tax Day for every other entity until July 15. But the new extension of the nonprofit tax filing deadlines until July 15 is the correct move, since charitable organizations throughout the country are focused on the things that truly matter right now; providing urgent medical care, caring for the children of first responders, feeding, housing, protecting so many vulnerable people at greatest risk of exposure to COVID-19,” Tim Delaney, National Council of Nonprofits president and CEO, said in a statement. 

“This is not a time to complain: ‘What took IRS so long.’ It’s time to acknowledge that reason prevailed and that nonprofits need to be 100 percent focused on addressing critical needs rather than tending to paperwork,” he said.

Almost 97 percent of nonprofit respondents in a recent survey indicated they have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

On March 13, President Donald Trump issued Notice 2020-18, an Emergency Declaration that instructed the Secretary of the Treasury “to provide relief from tax deadlines to Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency. In an update to that notice, “Additional Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic,” Notice 2020-23 specifically notes extensions for Form 990-PF and others. The annual Form 990 isn’t mentioned explicitly in the notice but the annual filing deadline is delayed by operation of that notice and a pre-pandemic decision, according to the National Council.