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5/25/2016

Memorial Day 2016

Though it’s not officially the end of Spring just yet, the Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the first holiday that kicks off the upcoming summer months. The weather is warm, the school year is near its end, and tax season is completed - that’s if you filed your tax return by the original IRS deadline.

If you chose to exercise your right to submit a tax extension, then don’t forget about filing before the extended due dates to avoid IRS penalties. For more information about extended IRS deadlines and penalties, check out the latest of our insightful, easy-read blogs:
For those of you who are caught up with their tax filings, but still have a tax bill to pay, make sure to complete your payments as soon as possible. At the very least, there should be some payment plan you have set up with the IRS to avoid piling up late fees. You can read more about paying tax liabilities with these blogs:
A lot of you may be “summer ready” - so are we - but don’t let it neglect your tax responsibilities.

In proper observance of Memorial Day, our offices will be closed on Monday, May 30, 2016, with limited email assistance available through support@ExpressExtension.com. We will reopen on the following business day during our normal hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST - you can contact us regarding extension e-filing at (803) 514-5155.


Have a safe and fun Memorial Holiday!


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5/23/2016

Have Tax Liabilities? Pay Your Tax Bill Instantly!

Filing your tax return on time is one task - paying the taxes you owe is entirely another. If you filed a tax extension, you only increased you time to file, but you are still responsible for paying any tax liabilities by your original tax deadline. This year’s filing due dates have passed, and if you haven’t paid your owed taxes, you’re still racking up IRS penalties even though you may have filed on time.

Figure Out Your Tax Bill
When filing your tax extension, you are asked to give a general estimate of the amount of taxes you owe to the IRS, if necessary. There are some resources available from the IRS to find this value:
  • Current year tax rate schedules
  • Previous tax returns and instructions
  • Estimated tax worksheet and instructions for the current year
For a more direct approach in guessing your tax liability, the IRS also offers their Withholding Calculator, which can provide a more accurate estimate.

Once your estimated taxes are determined, the IRS has several methods of payment you can choose from to pay your tax bill:

Pay Online
  • IRS Direct Pay - With the direct pay system featured on the IRS website, you can make a payment directly from your savings or checking account - at no charge. You can receive confirmation of your submitted payment, and the IRS doesn't retain any of your banking information.
  • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) - This federal payment system is a free service from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Here, you can pay federal taxes among other things as well. An account with your SSN or EIN is required, but you’ll also get a payment confirmation with an Electronic Federal Tax (EFT) number as proof of payment.
  • Debit or Credit Card - The IRS website lists a number of links to card processors where you can use standard business or commercial cards to pay your taxes. Your bill gets paid through a payment processor that charges a processing fee for the service.
Mail Payment
While it isn’t an instant payment, paying with a check or money order can also pay your entire bill in one transaction. You’ll need to make the amount payable to the U.S. Treasury and include the following information:
  • Name, Address, and Phone Number
  • Tax Year and Tax Form (i.e., 2015, Form 1040)
  • Employer Identification Number or Social Security Number
Use the address listed on your billing statement or notification to mail in your payment.

ExpressExtension.com also allows you to pay your tax liability while e-filing your tax extension at the same time. With our Electronic Funds Withdrawal feature, you can make a payment using your bank account information. Our helpful, e-file professionals in Rock Hill, South Carolina are on standby for any questions you may have. Call us at (803) 514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., EST. We’re also available through email at support@ExpressExtension.com.


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5/18/2016

Tax Season Isn’t Over Yet! Be Prepared for These Extended Deadlines!!

2016 continues to speed right along - can you believe we’re roughly just a month away from the summer season? Even though we’ve gotten through the initial business, personal, and exempt organization tax deadlines, the tax season is far from complete if you filed any extensions.

Even though you may consider foresight a stretch, the following extended due dates are just over the horizon. And if you’re not ready this time around, you will incur IRS penalties - there won’t be any second chances, my friend.

Business Tax Extension Form 7004 - Extended tax deadline is September 15, 2016
Personal Tax Extension Form 4868 - Extended tax deadline is October 17, 2016
Exempt Organizations Extension Form 8868 Part I - Extended tax deadline is August 15, 2016

Business/Personal Extension
For those of you who filed IRS Form 7004 or 4868 back in March and April, you have no other options but to file your tax return with the IRS at the end of your 6-month extension. If not, you’ll find yourself paying the following fees out of pocket:
  • 5% of the unpaid taxes each month or part of month your return is late - up to 25% of your unpaid tax
  • 100% of the unpaid tax or $135 minimum penalty - whichever is smaller - for returns that are more than 60 days late
Remember: Tax extensions can only extend your time to file. If you have any taxes to pay to the IRS, they’re required to be paid by your original deadline. Failing to file can lead to:
  • Penalties of .5% to 1% of your unpaid taxes each month or part of the month your taxes aren’t paid - up to 25% of unpaid taxes
For more information about late filing or paying penalties, check out our insightful blog, “Failure to File versus Failure to Pay.

Exempt Organization Extension
Nonprofits and charities have a little bit more breathing room. Even though your extension is only for three months, you have the option of extending your deadline another three months with IRS Form 8868 Part II. If you don’t file either the IRS Form 990/990-EZ or extension form before the deadline, you could face:
  • A penalty charge of $20 or $100 each day your tax return is late - based on your gross receipts
  • A maximum penalty as high as $50,000, or 5% of your gross receipts
For those organizations that decide to extend their deadline even further, your final due date this year is November 15.

Don’t let these extended deadlines catch you off guard - for a lot of you, you’re at the point of no return, which can only lead to penalties if you fail to file on time. If you have any questions about your automatic tax extension, give our e-filing experts in Rock Hill, South Carolina at call at (803) 514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or email us at support@ExpressExtenion.com.




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5/16/2016

It’s Not Too Late! E-file Your Tax-Exempt Returns TODAY!!!

Today is “Deadline Day” for exempt organizations! If you haven’t gotten around to filing your tax-exempt return with the IRS, you still have until Midnight local time to file either your 990 series form or IRS Form 8868 to extend your due date.

For those of you who have yet to start filling out IRS Form 990/990-EZ, your best option is to e-file Part I of Extension Form 8868 - it’ll give you an automatic 3-month extension to file your return while also avoiding any late-filing IRS penalties. ExpressExtension.com makes tax extensions as easy as can be. You’ll create a FREE account on our site and quickly file with these steps:
  • Click “Create Exempt Organization Tax Extension”
  • Enter your Organization’s Details
  • Select your Tax Year Period
  • Choose which Extension Form you need (Part I)
  • Pick which tax return you regularly file (990/990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-T, etc.)
  • Authorize and transmit to the IRS
You can also e-file an extension form with our affiliate site, ExpressTaxExempt.com - that way, you have access to your 8868 and 990/990-EZ with just one account. You can even file your extension wherever you are with our FREE downloadable ExpressTaxExempt - Form 8868 app for iOS and Android devices. For even more information about successfully e-filing tax-exempt forms and extensions, take look at some of our other blogs:
It’s still not too late to e-file your extension today - even if it’s 11:50 p.m., you can still transmit and be approved within 10 minutes. Our live e-filing experts in Rock Hill, South Carolina are ready to assist you with anything you need during the e-filing process. Call our support line at (803) 514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. We also offer after-hours help with support@ExpressExtension.com.



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5/11/2016

Stress-Free Tax Filing is Possible! Here’s How to File with No Fears

When you think about filing tax returns, what comes to mind? Late fees? Penalties? Audits? It isn’t the most pleasant subject to dwell on. And we get that - we understand the useless obstacles exempt organizations go through just to file forms to the IRS. It can be a stressful situation when all you want is to focus on your organization’s mission and objectives.

Let us alleviate your tax season stress with ExpressTaxExempt.com - the market leaders in IRS Form 990, and the most trusted e-file service provider. Our service offers an easy-to-use interface, which streamlines the often tedious process of filing tax returns to the IRS.

With these features from ExpressTaxExempt.com, you can e-file with ease and the peace of mind knowing you’ve submitted everything the Internal Revenue Service needs.

Simple “Q&A” Formatting
You’re not staring at a photocopy form on your screen full of complicated legal text. We simplify the information into interview-style questions which require a simple “Yes,” “No,” or a numerical value entered. Because we work in close cooperation with the IRS, our accessible format provides a safe, secure, and accurate e-filing experience that saves time and money.

Cloud Computing

Worried about keeping up with pages of forms? With our cloud computing technology, your filing progress is automatically saved every step of the way. And you can access your information from any computer by logging into your account. If you filed with our services for a prior year, you can still access that information as many times you choose.

Audit Check
Before you even transmit your IRS Form 990/990-EZ, ExpressTaxExempt.com does an automatic error check of your entire return. If a mistake is found - based on the information you’ve provided - not only do we point it out, we also give an explanation of the error along with a link that takes you directly to where you can make the correction. No more flipping through pages to double-check your work, and no more worrying about filing inaccurate information.

Worry-Free Security
We know better than anyone that tax information is extremely valuable. That’s why we’ve gone to great lengths to offer you a secure platform where you can store and safely transmit that information directly to the IRS and no one else. Our site is encrypted, Comodo HackerProof certified, and protected by SSL/TLS AES 256 bit Encryption. To make it simple, you have absolutely no worries.

Mobility
For organizations that need to file IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard) or IRS Extension Form 8868, you can e-file on-the-go with our FREE downloadable mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices. Need your form approved by a board of directors or principal officers before you submit - why lug papers around from one place to the next? ExpressTaxExempt.com lets you send secure links to members, allowing them to log in using their unique email address and password to e-verify your 990/990-EZ form.

With ExpressTaxExempt.com backing you up, you can put those filing fears to rest and be stress-free this tax season. And you’re never alone with the e-filing process - our live, e-filing professionals are just a phone call or mouse click away. Contact us for assistance with tax extensions at (803) 514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST - or send us an email at your convenience to support@ExpressExtension.com.



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5/09/2016

Worried About an Audit? Stay Clear from These 5 Common Mistakes

Filing tax returns isn't the most thrilling use of your time - especially if you’re running an exempt organization, charity, or nonprofit. Even though you carefully file your 990 form with the IRS, the slightest error can trigger a red flag - now you have agents from the Internal Revenue Service going through your bookkeeping and noting any compliance, risk management, or governance issues. 

You’re caught up in an audit that could cost you thousands of dollars in penalties all because of a filing error that can be corrected if found earlier.

The IRS Form 990/990-EZ comes with pages of long, drawn-out instructions - all you want to do is give the IRS what they need and get back to running your tax-exempt organization. It’s possible to file your tax return without fearing an audit - just be mindful of these five common mistakes that are easily avoidable.

Filing the Incorrect Form

There are a handful of IRS return forms geared towards section 501(c)(3) organizations, depending on specific qualifications. Filing with the wrong form can set you up for an audit along with steep IRS penalties. Choose the type that’s most applicable to your tax-exempt organization:
  • Form 990-N (e-Postcard) - Organizations with less than $50,000 in gross receipts
  • Form 990-EZ - Organizations with gross receipts over $50,000, but less than $200,000, and total assets less than $500,000
  • Form 990 (Long) - Organizations with gross receipts over $200,000, and total assets over $500,000
Filing for the Wrong Tax Year
Not all tax year periods for exempt organizations are the same - some may operate on a Calendar Tax Year while others are on a Fiscal Tax Year. The deadline to file your 990 form will always be the 15th day of the 5th month after your tax year end date - that could be this upcoming May 16th deadline or the 15th of any month based on your organization.

Submitting an incorrect year could put you at risk of paying late fees, or even worse, an audit. To help determine your filing year, and the differences between a calendar and fiscal tax years, check out our easy, yet informative blog, “Incorrect Tax Year? Know What Year You’re Filing.”

Failing to Complete Schedules
All exempt organizations are required to have a Schedule A submitted along with their IRS Form 990/990-EZ. Based on other information such as organization activities, donations, and regulations, you might have to file some different schedules. Your completed schedules supply the IRS with more detailed information about your answers. If the corresponding schedule to support your reports isn’t there, that’s an automatic red flag for the IRS.

Filing with Incomplete or Inaccurate Information
If you don’t know, something like this can cause an immediate commotion with the IRS - such cases can include an unchecked box, imbalances with amounts, or even one wrong letter or number with your EIN or organization name. Any errors can have your form deemed “incomplete” by the IRS, which can lead to late filing fees draining your funds.

Failing to File an Extension Form
To put things in perspective, you won’t automatically get audited by not filing a tax extension; on the other hand, a late form without reasonable explanation could raise questions, which can very well lead to an audit. The IRS Form 8868 can give you three extra months to file your 990 form. You must submit before your original tax due date - any later is a rejection leaving you with potential late fees.

The best way to avoid these common filing errors is to e-file your tax-exempt return form with ExpressTaxExempt.com. Your form is automatically checked for any of these mistakes and more - way before you transmit to the IRS. If you get a rejection for any reason, ExpressTaxExempt.com points out exactly what needs to be changed - saving you time and effort. And you can re-transmit to the IRS at no extra charge.

Need extra time to file? You can also e-file Part I of Extension Form 8868 with our services. Our e-filing experts in Rock Hill, South Carolina are more than happy to assist you with the e-filing process. Call us at (803) 514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Or email us 24/7 through support@ExpressExtension.com.


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5/04/2016

Don’t Lose Thousands of Dollars! Avoid IRS Penalties with These Tips

Nothing hurts like having to pay late filing fees to the IRS. And for exempt organizations, these penalties aren’t as simple as dropping a few coins in a bucket. You’re looking at a daily charge of $20 or $100 - depending on gross receipts - for each day your tax return is late. The maximum penalty can cost as high as $50,000, or 5% of your gross receipts.

You might not be able to recover the money you lose with IRS penalties, but with these two fantastic tips, you can avoid paying the IRS with the hard-earned money generated by your organization.

Tip #1 - File an Extension
Your best option for dodging late filing fees is to file IRS Form 8868 - there are two parts to this tax extension form.
  • Part I - Automatic 3-Month Extension
  • Part II - Additional, Non-Automatic 3-Month Extension
Filing Part I will extend your deadline three months past the original due date. If you need even more time, you can file Part II to add three more months to your extended period; however, you are required to provide a reason why you need the extra time, and the IRS must have already approved your Part I.

All you need to file is your primary organization’s details and tax year period, the simply select which 990 form you’re extending time to file - 990/990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-T, etc. You are required to submit Part I before your original due date, and Part II before your extended date, if necessary. Filing either form a day late will get rejected by the IRS - serving no purpose.

Important: An Extension Form 8868 for a 990-N (e-Postcard) is not required. If you’re late filing an e-Postcard, you should just complete your filing as soon as possible.

Tip #2 - Schedule O (Form 990/990-EZ)
If time slipped through your hands, and you weren’t able to file an extension by the original deadline, you have no choice but to file your tax return as quickly as you can. By doing so, you can use Schedule O to explain why you’re filing late.

Schedule O is the form where you can provide the IRS with accurate explanations regarding your 990/990-EZ form. In this particular situation, you must prove reasonable cause with a written statement from an officer or director under penalties of perjury. Your statement has to contain facts about what caused your organization to file late.

You can enclose the following information:
  • How your organization practices stable business
  • What factors restricted your organization from filing an extension
  • What measures have been made to prevent late filing in the future
Explaining your situation in a diligent manner won’t automatically clear your case, but it can help to appeal penalty charges filed against you.

Remember: The only way to entirely avoid late penalties is to file an extension form and then file your tax return before the extended deadline. With ExpressExtension, you can have your Form 8868 done, transmitted, and approved within minutes. We also offer a FREE downloadable app for iOS/Android devices for even more convenience.

For friendly, professional assistance with e-filing an extension, call our live experts at our headquarters in Rock Hill, South Carolina. We’re available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST at (803) 514-5155, and 24/7 with support@ExpressExtension.com.



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5/03/2016

Incorrect Tax Year? Know What Year You’re Filing

Filing a tax return is stressful enough as is - the IRS Form 990 series is no different. With everything you’re responsible for reporting, the last thing you need is your form rejected because you filed for the wrong tax year.

We understand how difficult tax periods can be for exempt organizations, and we often get questions about the difference between the current tax year and the prior tax year. But we’re here to help make determining your correct tax year as easy as possible.

To start, there are two different tax periods or accounting periods:
  • Calendar Tax Year - A consecutive 12-month period that begins in January and ends in December
  • Fiscal Tax Year - A consecutive 12-month period that doesn’t start in January or ends in December
For nonprofits or charities that operate on a Calendar Tax Year, you can quickly figure out what year you’re filing for because both beginning and ending dates are within the same year. For example, your tax period starts on January 1, 2015, and ends on December 31, 2015. Simple enough, right?

Fiscal Year Filing
For other section 501(c)(3) organizations that may operate on a Fiscal Tax Year, it can get a little confusing because your begin and end dates are in two different years. So let’s say your tax period starts on August 1, 2014, and ends July 31, 2015 - come tax time, what year are you filing?

If you’re thinking 2015, you’re unfortunately wrong. Even though your accounting period ended in 2015, it began in 2014, which was the start of the consecutive 12-month period. So you’re filing a 2014 tax return in 2015, which shouldn’t be too surprising - you would file a 2015 calendar tax year return in the middle of 2016.

Important: The year that you file will be the same year as your tax begin date.

That’s useful information - only if you already know your accounting period. But what if it’s your first time tasked with filing for your tax-exempt organization? You might not be familiar with the tax year period. Here are some ways you can find out:
  • Prior Tax Return - When in doubt, take a look and see what your organization reported on its most recent tax return. You should locate the tax year period as well as a wealth of other information required by the 990 form for prior year amounts.
  • Determination Letter - If you still have the letter the IRS sent confirming your exemption status, which you should, you can figure out your tax year. The letter contains your accounting period end date. So if the end date says May 31, count back 11 months and your begin date is June 1.
  • EO Select Check - For those of you filing IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard), you can use the exempt organization select check on the IRS website. Your organization needs to have filed an e-Postcard before. Search using your EIN# and click on the organization’s name - it shows each year recorded along with the information transmitted including the tax year period.
Don’t let an incorrect tax year ruin all the time and effort you put in submitting your 990 form - get an automatic 3-month extension with IRS Form 8868. After your tax extension is approved, e-file your return with ExpressTaxExempt - and if your form is ever rejected, you can correct the mistake and retransmit your form at no extra cost!

Call our friendly, live customer support for any questions or concerns about e-filing an extension. We’re available at (803) 514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. You can also reach us 24/7 through support@expressextension.com.


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