Nonprofit Tax Help

David McRee, CPA

Form 990 Preparation Services

I can prepare your organization's Form 990, 990 EZ, or 990-T, including any returns that may be delinquent. Delinquent returns should, when possible, be filed before the IRS discovers the delinquency and sends a notice. Doing so makes a stronger argument for the abatement of any penalties that may be assessed.

Note:  I do not prepare or provide compiled financial statements, reviews, or audits.

Caution:  I do NOT recommend that any organization prepare their own Form 990-EZ or Form 990. The forms are too specialized and it is too easy to get in trouble and owe a large penalty for filing an incorrect or incomplete return. If a return preparer offers to prepare your return for free, be careful. Inquire as to how much experience they have with this particular form. The "free" return could end up costing you 5 times as much as paying a competent and skilled preparer to do it.

Extensions of Time to File

I can prepare a request for an extension of time to file for your organization's Form 990, 990 EZ, or 990-T.

Form 990 Due Dates

Form 990, 990 EZ, and 990-T are due on the 15th day of the 5th month after your organization's tax year ends.

 If your fiscal year ends:  Form 990, 990EZ, 990 T is due:
 December 31  May 15
 June 30  November 15
 September 30  February 15


Your organization can apply for an automatic 3 month extension. If you need more time after that, you can request an additional 3 month extension. I have never known an extension request to be turned down, unless the extension request was not filed by the due date, or if there is a history of late filing abuses.

IRS Penalty Relief Assistance

Late filing penalties can add up very fast. If you haven't filed a return for several years you could easily be assessed thousands of dollars in penalties. If you failed to file for an extension, or filed your return after the extension expires, you will be assessed penalties.

In most cases, unless management is guilty of intentionally neglecting its duty to file, penalties can be removed if a proper explanation is submitted along with a request for penalty abatement. Don't ignore penalty notices, and don't let them scare you. Seek professional help. If you call me (727) 345-4288 I can help you get the penalties removed. How will I do that? First, I'll speak with you about the circumstances and I'll ask you to fax the penalty notice to me to determine what needs to be done. Then, after getting all the relevant details from you, I'll craft the appropriate explanation to the IRS as to why the penalties should be removed. The IRS provides specific arguments that can be used to avoid penalties for late filing and failure to file. My fees for this will depend on the particulars of your situation and the amount of correspondence with the IRS required. In any case, my fees are much less  than the penalties. I have a $400 minimum fee for written correspondence to the IRS for penalty abatement.

Do-it-yourself Penalty Relief - If you have received a penalty notice because you did not file Form 990, or you filed it late, and you want to write your own letter to the IRS to argue that your organization is eligible for penalty relieve under the "reasonable cause" provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, I can show you exactly how to do that yourself. I've written an ebook that explains how to do it and exactly what to say depending on your circumstances. See my page about the Form 990 Penalty Relief Manual.

Paying Tax on Unrelated Business Income

If your organization has income from business activities which are unrelated to its reason for being tax-exempt, such income may be subject to Federal and State income tax. However, there are MANY exceptions provided by the Internal Revenue Code. If your organization is paying tax on unrelated business income by filing Form 990-T every year, consider having me review the nature of the activities generating the income. Many tax preparers only prepare a handful of Form 990s each year and are not familiar with the fine points of avoiding tax on unrelated business income. These rules are not related to typical corporate and individual tax rules.

 



Basic financial information I'll need from your organization to prepare Form 990:

Copy of last year's tax return (if you filed one).
Copy of independent audit report (if an audit was performed), or statement of income/expenses and balance sheet.
Copy of any notices from the IRS regarding unresolved issues.


 

You should be able to produce a report in the following form: beginning cash balance + income - expenses = ending cash balance. Beginning and ending cash balance should reconcile to the bank balance.

If you cannot account for all your income and expenses, then we will have to determine what the difference is and how to present it on the return.

I will need a breakdown of your organizations revenues classified by type, like this:

Cash donations received
Cash donations from special events (annual dinner, bake sale, etc) *
Non-cash donations received (food, clothing, car, stock, etc)
Government Grants
Non Government Grants
Fees your organization received for services it provided
Revenue from inventory purchased and resold (if any)
Revenue from non-inventory items sold (tangible assets, stock)
Revenue from special events (not including contributions) *
Other Revenue (list according to category)

* Example: Say your organization sells t-shirts at a fundraiser. You purchase the t-shirts for resale for $5 each. A patron buys a t-shirt with a price of $10, but pays you $30 and tells you to "keep the change." Result: You have $10 gross revenue from the sale of the t-shirt, which gives you a $5 profit. And you have received a $20 cash contribution. And yes, you actually have to keep track of those details.

 

Expenses:

I'll need a list of your organization's expenses, by category (officer's salary, other salary, payroll taxes, rent, electric, supplies, travel, etc). If your organization's books classify expenses based on whether they are program, management, or fundraising, I'll need that information as well.


Additional information:

I'll need to know your organization's beginning and ending cash balance according to your checkbook register. If you do not balance the checkbook, you need to let me know this.
List of assets (if any) or depreciation schedule (furniture, building, computers, equipment, etc)


Once I have the above information, I can get started on the Form 990. We'll need to speak briefly on the phone about exactly what your organization does, what activities it performs, who benefits from the organization's activities, where it gets its funding, if and how officers/directors receive compensation, how much time they devote to the organization each week, etc., so I can be sure to prepare an accurate and complete return.

 Price:

The price for my services varies according to the complexity of the return, the quality and completeness of the financial information you provide me, your responsiveness to my questions, and the number of schedules required. I quote a flat fee up front. I generally do not quote hourly rates because I want you to know up front what the job will cost. I don't like surprises and I know you don't either.