Treasurer s s Tax Training Workshop National Convention Tuesday, August 18 2:00-3:00 pm

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1 Treasurer s s Tax Training Workshop 2009 National Convention Tuesday, August 18 2:00-3:00 pm

2 New e-file e Requirements In August 2006, President Bush signed into law the Pension Protection Act of 2006 which added this filing requirement to ensure that the IRS and potential donors have current information about your organization. Although the main focus is on pension reform, the act also includes charitable reform provisions designed to regulate tax-exempt organizations. One of the major changes requires all exempt organizations to file either an Annual 990 Information Return (Form 990 or 990-EZ) or an Annual Notice (Form 990-N).

3 So What s s Changed? Prior to the approval of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts less than $25,000 were NOT required to file an Annual 990 Information Return with the IRS. Now, under Section 1223 of the Pension Protection Act, tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts less than $25,000 are required to file an Annual Notice with the IRS beginning in 2008.

4 What is the 990-N? Form 990-N s s official name is Electronic Notice for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or 990-EZ. EZ. Form 990-N N is also known as an e-postcard since there is no paper equivalent, and the form must be filed electronically. No paper forms will be accepted, unless the organization prefers to file an information return, Form 990 or 990-EZ. If this option is chosen, the entire form must be completed.

5 What Information will the 990-N Include? Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number (Tax ID Number or TIN) Tax year (July 1 to June 30) Legal name and mailing address Any other names the organization uses Name and address of a principal officer Website address if the organization has one Confirmation that the organization s s annual gross receipts are normally $25,000 or less If applicable, a statement that the organization has terminated or is terminating(going out of business)

6 When will the 990-N N be Due? The annual electronic notice is due by the 15 th day of the fifth month after the close of your tax period beginning after 12/31/06. For our organization, this means that the 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N N was due 11/15/08 for the fiscal year 7/1/07-6/30/08 for all Auxiliaries and Departments. The respective 990 will need to be filed each November 15 th, thereafter.

7 How do we file the 990-N? The e-postcard e is filed electronically by answering fewer than 10 questions in an online form that can be found on the Charities & Non-Profits page of the IRS website at When you link to the system, you leave the IRS site and file the e-postcard e with the IRS through their trusted partner Urban Institute. If you have trouble linking to the filing system through the IRS website, the URL for the Urban Institute site is The form must be completed and filed electronically. There is no paper form.

8 What if we don t t have a computer or access to the internet? The IRS has created a simple, Internet based process for filing the e-e Postcard, so organizations do not need to purchase software to file. They anticipate that organizations that don t t have access to a computer can go to places that provide Internet access to the public, such as their local library, to file the e-postcard. e

9 What does Gross Receipts mean exactly? Total amount of money collected by your organization during the fiscal year. Do NOT include any pass- thru amounts such as: Cancer Aid & Research and H&H/Xmas Cheer Donations Cancer Insurance Premiums Other Examples??? DO include Department and National Dues.

10 Our Auxiliary is covered under our Department s s Group Exemption. Do we still have to file a 990-N? Yes, even though your Department has filed for a Group Exemption which covers your Auxiliary, they most likely will NOT include all of the local Auxiliaries information in the Department s s 990.

11 What do we do first? For Auxiliaries: Make sure you have your own 9 digit Tax ID number (FEIN or EIN). Make sure your Department has applied for tax exemption preferably preferably under Code 501(c)(19). Make sure your Department has applied for Group Exemption and gives you the 4 digit Group Exemption Number to put on your 990. For Departments: Make sure you have your own 9 digit Tax ID number (FEIN or EIN). Make sure you have a determination letter from the IRS recognizing your Department as tax exempt preferably preferably under Code 501(c)(19). If you have not already done so, apply for a Group Exemption to get a 4 digit Group Exemption Number (GEN) to cover all Auxiliaries in your Department.

12 What if we re not sure whether or not we have our own EIN? Look for the computer-generated notice that was issued by the IRS when your Auxiliary applied for an EIN. This notice is issued as a confirmation of your application for, and receipt of an EIN. If you used an EIN to open a bank account, or to apply for any type of state or local license, you should contact the bank or agency to secure your EIN. Ask the IRS to search for your EIN by calling the Business & Specialty Tax Line at The hours of operation are 7am to 10pm local time, Monday thru Friday. An assistor will ask you for identifying information and provide the number to you over the telephone, as long as you are authorized to receive it. If you are not a person authorized to receive this information, a confirmation letter can be mailed to the taxpayer at the address of record.

13 Form SS-4 4 (To Obtain an EIN)

14 What is the difference between non- profit and tax-exempt status? Non-profit status is a state law concept. Non-profit status may make an organization eligible for certain benefits, such as state sales, property, and income tax exemptions. Although most federal tax-exempt organizations are non- profit organizations, organizing as a non-profit organization at the state level does not automatically grant the organization exemption from federal income tax. To qualify as exempt from federal income taxes, an organization must meet requirements set forth in the Internal Revenue Code. See Types of Tax-Exempt Organizations or Publication 557 for more information.

15 How do we become tax-exempt? Departments need to file Form 1024 and Form 8718 to apply for tax- exempt status under Section 501(c)(19). If your Department is already exempt under another Section such as 501(c)(4) or (c)(7), you should strongly consider updating your exemption to 501(c)(19). If your Department already has a determination letter from the IRS recognizing the Department as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(19), the Department needs to apply for a Group Exemption Number that will cover all Auxiliaries in the Department. If you are an Auxiliary, check with your Department Treasurer to find out where your Department stands in this process.

16 Group Rulings A central organization may apply for a group ruling for itself and all of its affiliated organizations. Subordinates covered by a group ruling do NOT have to file an application for recognition of tax-exemption. The IRS has recommended in our case that each Department obtain a group ruling to cover all Auxiliaries in the Department. This excerpt shows why we cannot be included in the VFW Department s s or Post s s group ruling we could jeopardize their exemption!

17 How do we apply for a group ruling once we have our Department s s exemption? According to Publication 557, once a central organization has obtained recognition of its own exemption, it should apply for a group exemption letter for its subordinates BY LETTER instead of submitting Form (See sample) Complete Form 8718 and attach check for $900 payable to United States Treasury. Attach list of Auxiliaries & Districts to be included in the group exemption include include their name, mailing address, EIN, date of institution, etc. Attach sample charter, National & Department Bylaws, and a copy of the Department s s determination letter. Keep permission and activities forms from each Auxiliary & District on file.

18 What should my Auxiliary do if it received an error message indicating that the EIN was incorrect while attempting to file the e-postcard? e If you are certain that your EIN was entered correctly, the IRS may not have your organization listed as a tax-exempt organization. If your Auxiliary is covered by your Department s s Group Exemption, then the best way to resolve this is to have the Department ask the IRS to update its records by writing to the following address: Internal Revenue Service, 1973 N. Rulon White Blvd, Ogden, UT , ATTN: M/S Departments may also fax this information to or If your Auxiliary is not covered by a Group Exemption, but has individually applied for and received a tax exempt determination letter from the IRS, an officer of the Auxiliary should call the IRS Customer Account Services at (a toll free number) and ask that the organization be set up to allow filing of the e-postcard. e

19 What should my Auxiliary do if the tax year comes up incorrectly when we re filing the e-postcard? e If the e-filing e system has defaulted to a tax year ending 12/31 and won t t let the Auxiliary correct the tax year on-screen, the simplest solution is for the parent organization (Department) to write to: Internal Revenue Service 1973 N. Rulon White Blvd Ogden, UT Attn: M/S 6273 and request that the change be made on behalf of ALL the subordinate chapters. This will be most easily accomplished if the Department includes a list of Auxiliaries showing the name, address and EIN of each Auxiliary. If your Auxiliary is not covered by a group exemption and does not n have an individual determination letter, then your Auxiliary will NOT be able to file the e-postcard e until either the Department has applied for & received a group exemption or until the Auxiliary Files Form 1024 & 8718 and applies for its own determination letter.

20 What if our Department does NOT have a group exemption? If the Department does NOT have a group exemption, Auxiliaries will NOT be able to file the e-postcarde Postcard,, unless they have applied for and received individual determination letters from the IRS. Once the Department has a group exemption, Auxiliaries should allow 6 weeks for the IRS to update its records before filing the e-postcard. e Auxiliaries should NOT be concerned if this delay causes their filing to occur after the e-postcard e is due because there are no late filing or delinquency penalties associated with the e-postcard. e Organizations that fail to file the required e-postcard e for 3 consecutive tax years will automatically lose their tax- exempt status.

21 New Form 990 In 2008, Form 990 received its first major overhaul since The new Form 990 has a core form that is 11 pages long and may include up to 16 additional schedules.

22 New Form 990 Part Part VI of the core form is entirely dedicated to statements regarding governance, management, and disclosure. Governance policies inquired about include: Conflict of Interest Whistleblower Document Retention and Destruction Executive Compensation Gift Acceptance (Schedule M)

23 Questions? Resources Sign up for Exempt Organization s s EO Update, a regular e newsletter that highlights new information posted on the charities pages of To subscribe, go to and click on EO Newsletter. Publication 557, Tax Exempt Status for your Org. Publication 3386, Tax Guide for Veterans Orgs. Instructions for Forms 990, 990-T, 1024 and (sample policies) (filing site for e-postcard) e

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