What You Need to Know About IRS Extension Form 8868

Last week, we learned that tax-exempt organizations who operate on a calendar tax year have until May 15, 2017, to file their 2016 990 Form Series Return with the IRS. Today, to learn a bit more, we’re going to talk about everything you need to know about the 990 extension form, Form 8868!

What is Form 8868?
Form 8868 is the IRS’s official extension form for the 990 Series, as well as for other forms. It used to be a two-part form; Part I was used to apply for an automatic 3-month extension and Part II was for a non-automatic additional 3-month extension. Now, it’s all one, nice form for an automatic 6-month extension when filed before the organization’s original 990 deadline.


What You Need to Apply
To apply for an extension with Form 8868, you really only need some basic filing information about the organization. You don’t even need an explanation for why you need more time to file! All you’ll need is

  • your organization’s name and address,
  • it’s EIN (Employer Identification Number),
  • the tax year period in which it operates, and
  • to identify the 990 Form the organization typically files.

It’s important that all of this information is exactly as the IRS has it in their records to ensure your extension application is accepted with no issues. You can verify your organization’s details by calling the IRS at 1-877-829-5500, through their Exempt Organizations (EO) Select Check, or through ExpressTaxExempt’s new e-Postcard site, epostcard.expresstaxexempt.com!

Signing Authority
On Form 8868, the IRS requests information for a signing authority. This signing authority requirement is in place so that the IRS can verify the request for an extension of time to file is authentic, coming from the organization itself. The signing authority is also who the IRS will contact if there are any issues with your return.

Form 8868 & Form 990-N
Unfortunately, if yours is among the exempt organizations to file Form 990-N (the e-Postcard), Form 8868 cannot be used to extend your filing deadline. Since Form 990-N is so short – and it basically reports almost the same thing as Form 8868 – extensions are not granted for Form 990-N.

How You Can File Form 8868
We’ve got a few options for you when it comes to e-filing Form 8868! Both our sister products, ExpressTaxExempt and ExpressExtension, offer fast and easy e-filing for Form 8868. They’ll even send you a confirmation email – usually that same day! – when your extension request has been accepted by the IRS.

And if you have any questions during the process, you’ll have access to our all-star support team by phone, live chat, and email, with whichever product you use to e-file Form 8868!

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