Friday, October 21, 2011

PTA and Taxes: Filing an Extension

I know that the deadline for filing our unit's federal tax return is November 15th, but I'm not sure we will have all the information we need. Is it possible to obtain an extension of time, and if so, how do I go about it?

You are correct that the deadline for nonprofits (which obviously includes all PTAs!) to file their annual federal tax return for the 2010-11 fiscal year is November 15th.  This is a postmark date, which means that the return (if filed by mail) must be postmarked no later than that date.  The good news is that the filing requirements have changed so that many PTAs that previously were required to file a paper return no longer have to do so.  If your PTA “normally” receives less than $50,000 in revenue, the PTA must file the 990-N electronic return. 

However PTAs with revenue “normally” between $50,001 and $200,000 must file either the 990EZ return or a full 990, and those whose “normal” revenues exceed $200,000 must file the 990.   To determine your PTA’s “normal” revenue, average the revenue for 2010-11 with the revenue for the two previous years, and remember than you can deduct the portion of your membership dues that you forward on to council, the State PTA and National PTA when making these calculations. 

Regardless of which form must be filed, the due date is November 15th--however if you do not believe that you can meet that deadline, you can file for an automatic three-month extension using IRS Form 8868.  New this year, you can both complete and file the application online for free.  Both the form and instructions are available here.  However the extension must be granted before the due date, so if you think you may need an extension, file it now!