Just because your non-profit doesn’t pay federal income tax doesn’t mean you have no dealings with the Internal Revenue Service. You are required to file an annual report to the IRS of your standing as a non-profit. This form is called a Form 990, and it is important for all CILs and those SILCs that are not-for-profit to file correctly and on a timely basis. If you don’t you risk losing your non-profit status and if you don’t have that private, non-profit status, your CIL is no longer eligible to receive your federal grant for Independent Living services.
The form 990 is a public document, so when you complete it remember that you are communicating both with the IRS and with the public. Be sure that the board of directors has reviewed your filing document prior to submission. Best practice usually requires that the board chair signs the document on behalf of the organization. It is not unusual for foundations and other private and public funders to check what you’ve said in your Form 990. Take it seriously.
If your tax-exempt organization has gross receipts of more than $200,000 or assets worth $500,000 you must complete a full Form 990. Smaller non-profits with gross receipts of $50,000 or less have an e-Postcard version called the 990-N. Those that fall between $50,000 and $200,000 can file a 990-EZ. Every center is required to be a private, not-for-profit entity so every center must complete the appropriate form annually.
Your timeline for this form is the 15th day of the 5th month after your fiscal year ends (which may or may not match your state or federal fiscal year). If your organization’s fiscal year ends June 30, your 990 is due November 15. If your fiscal year ends September 30, your 990 is due February 15. If your fiscal year ends December 31, your 990 is due May 15. NOTE: if you lose your exempt status by not filing the 990, according to the IRS there is no appeal process. If a CIL loses exempt status, they are no longer eligible for either Sub-chapter B or Sub-chapter C funds through the Rehabilitation Act. It is possible to reinstate your status, but this lengthy process can include paying income taxes during the period you were out of compliance, and other penalties and fees, including not being able to draw funds from your grants.
More soon about the content of the 990.
Your non-profit is also required to withhold both taxes and social security from employee paychecks following the employee’s W4 form, matching social security and providing a report of the withholding on an annual W2 form, which is provided to both the employee and the state and federal tax entities.
You are also required to report any payment you gave to a contractor or other non-employee that was in excess of $600 for the year. This is filed on a 1099.