Update to IRS Form 8868
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has simplified the extension process for IRS Form 990 Filers and other tax filings associated with the Form 8868 extension. This modification to Form 8868 reduces the burden of paperwork and the risk of a missed extension request. Previously, applicants requesting extensions of time to file their 990s were required to file separately for two three-month extensions. The new regulation is effective for exempt organizations for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015. For taxable years beginning January 1, 2016, exempt organizations need only file one request and will receive a single, automatic 6-month extension of time to file. This change also affects other filers of Form 8868, including, for example, split-interest trusts. Also, the new regulation allows all Form 990-T filers to file only one request for a single, automatic 6-month extension.
Update to IRS Form 990-EZ
The IRS has also released an updated Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organizations Exempt from Income Tax. The intent of this update is to help tax-exempt organizations avoid common mistakes when filing their annual returns. The updated form includes 29 “help” icons describing key information needed to complete several fields within the form. As a reminder, the deadline for exempt organizations that file Form 990-series returns is the 15th day of the fifth month after an organization’s tax year ends. The IRS also encourages all exempt organizations to file their Form 990-series returns electronically. According to the IRS, in 2016, the error rate for electronically filed returns was only 1%, compared to 33% for paper filed returns.
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