The majority of organizations that are exempt from federal income tax are required to file Form 990 or a similar form on an annual basis. Previously, small tax exempt organizations were not required to file Form 990 or a variation thereof. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires that non-profit organizations that do not file Form 990 (or a variation thereof as required for that type of organization) for three consecutive years automatically lose their federal tax exempt status.

The returns are due by May 15th of the year following the year for which reporting is due for those organizations that are on a calendar year reporting cycle. Many tax exempt organizations fail to file the required Form 990, and, if this is the third year of such failure, the tax exempt organization will automatically lose its tax exempt status.

It is strongly recommended that you check to ensure that your tax exempt organization is filing Form 990, and filing it on time (typically by May 15th) each and every year to avoid losing its tax exempt status. Due to the time and expense necessary to prepare and file a new application for tax exemption, most organizations cannot afford to let their exempt status terminate.