Nonprofit Law updates from Cullinane Law Group. May 2012.
Cullinane Law Group

Is Your Nonprofit's Annual IRS Informational Return Due?

While tax-exempt nonprofit organizations do not pay federal taxes, most do have to file an annual informational return with the IRS called the Form 990. This financial report is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of the organization’s taxable year. This means that if your organization follows the calendar year, your organization's 2011 Form 990 will be due on May 15, 2012.

The Form 990 allows the IRS and the general public to evaluate a nonprofit’s operations; it includes information on the nonprofit’s mission, programs, and finances. 

The type of Form 990 to be filed by an organization depends on the filing year and the gross receipts of the organization.  The different forms include Forms 990, 990-EZ and 990-N. The IRS has a helpful chart available that can guide you in determining which form to file.

Not all nonprofits have to file annual returns. Generally, the following do not have to file Form 990:
  • Most faith-based organizations, religious schools, missions or missionary organizations
  • Subsidiaries of other nonprofits – those that may be covered under a group return filed by the parent organization
  • Many government corporations
  • State institutions that provide essential services
The IRS allows organizations to apply for an automatic three-month extension by filing Form 8868.
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Mollie Cullinane
The Cullinane Law Group is the premier firm for nonprofit organizations.
Clients include new nonprofit start-ups, social entrepreneurs, charities, foundations, schools, and churches.
We help nonprofits make a difference in their communities.

Representing clients nationwide

Mail: 9600 Escarpment Blvd. #745-208
Austin, TX 78749


Client Highlight

We are honored to work with Upward Transitions Therapeutic Horsemanship, a nonprofit organization near San Antonio, Texas that provides equine facilitated therapy and rehabilitation, as well as educational interactions with horses for children and adults with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities and/or learning differences.

Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider’s body in the manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance, and muscle strength. For individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience, and self-esteem.

Learn more or sign up to volunteer at

Law Basics

How Do I Check the Tax-Exempt Status of an Organization? 

The IRS website provides the Exempt Organizations Select Check, an online search tool that allows users to select an exempt organization and check certain information about its federal tax status and filings. It combines three former search sites in one place. Users may search for:

  • Organizations eligible to received tax-deductible contributions (former Pub. 78 data),
  • Organizations whose federal tax exemption was automatically revoked for not filing a Form 990-series for three consecutive years, or
  • Form 990-N (e-postcard) filers and filings.
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