Protect Your PTA’s Tax-Exempt Status—File with the IRS On Time!

The IRS requires every 501(c)3 non-profit organization to file some variety of the Form 990 annually. Failure to file for three consecutive years will result in your PTA’s non-profit status being revoked and having to pay taxes on your PTA’s income. In addition, many businesses will not make donations to organizations that are not tax-exempt.

Which IRS Form 990 you need to file depends on your PTA’s gross income. Gross income is the total amount of money your PTA takes in over the fiscal year, including all membership dues. Here’s how the IRS breaks down who files which Form 990:

Your PTA will need to file by the 15th day of the fifth month after the end of your fiscal year. For PTAs that have their fiscal year end on June 30th, the filing deadline is November 15th.

For most PTAs, only the online Form 990-N is required. Completing the form takes less than ten minutes, and the IRS will usually notify you within an hour that your form has been accepted. Be sure to print out this receipt and send it in to the Illinois PTA state office along with a copy of your audit report by December 31st (you can send this along with your dues payment).

Here is the information you will need to complete the Form 990-N:

Organization’s legal name

An organization’s legal name is the organization’s name as it appears in the articles of incorporation or similar organizing document, as most recently amended and (when required by state law) filed with the appropriate state authority. If you have changed your organization’s legal name, you must inform the IRS of the new name and provide certain supporting documentation before filing your e-Postcard.  You should report the change of name as far in advance of your filing deadline as possible.  If you haven’t received an affirmation letter reflecting your name change by the time your return is due, you will have to file a paper return (Form 990 or 990-EZ) for the year in which you changed your name and report the change of name on the paper return.

Any other names your organization uses

If the organization is known by or uses other names to refer to the organization as a whole (and not to its programs and activities), commonly referred to as Doing-Business-As (DBA) names, they should be listed.

Organization’s mailing address

The mailing address is the current mailing address used by the organization. If the organization’s mailing address has changed since it filed its previous return (Form 990 or 990-EZ) or e-Postcard simply enter the new mailing address.

Organization’s website address (if you have one).

Organization’s employer identification number (EIN)

Every tax-exempt organization must have an EIN, sometimes referred to as a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), even if it does not have employees. The EIN is a unique number that identifies the organization to the Internal Revenue Service. Your organization would have acquired an EIN by filing a Form SS-4 prior to requesting tax-exemption.  The EIN is a 9-digit number and the format of the number is NN-NNNNNNN (for example:  00-1234567).

  • If you do not know your EIN, you may be able to find it on the organization’s bank statement, application for Federal tax-exempt status, or prior year return.
  • Please note that the EIN is not yourtax-exempt number.  That term generally refers to a number assigned by a state agency that identifies organizations as exempt from state sales and use taxes.
  • If you do not have an EIN, see theInstructions for Form SS-4 for different ways to apply for an EIN.  DO NOT use the EIN of a parent or other organization.

Name and address of a principal officer of your organization

Usually president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer – often specified in the organization’s bylaws.

Organization’s annual tax year

Like any taxpayer, exempt organizations must keep books and reports and file returns based on an annual accounting period called a tax year.  A tax year is usually 12 consecutive months that can be either calendar year or fiscal year and is often specified in the organization’s bylaws.

Answers to the following questions:

Protect your PTA’s tax-exempt status by filing your Form 990 on time. The IRS has additional information about protecting tax-exempt status, including online training videos.