I was advising a small homeschool organization about applying for tax exempt status and explained that they had 27 months after their date of formation to file an application with the IRS.
I just read this and was concerned that I would need to file something during the 27 months time frame. Please explain if possible.
The link to the IRS website concerns IRS requirements before you apply for tax exempt status. The link above states this (in part)
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.
This is a fairly new requirement from the IRS. I used to tell nonprofit organizations that if they had not yet applied for 501c3 status, they did not have to file the Form 990. It came to my attention only a week ago that the IRS wants Form 990 from all nonprofits.
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 5 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 5 minutes once a year.
Here’s a blog post that answers your question. http://homeschoolcpa.com/does-new-irs-990n-apply/
I hope that helps.
Carol Topp, CPA