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Tax Returns Are An Opportunity to Shine

Start Early, Start Smart and Start Accurate

If your organization operates on a calendar year, January to December, you have approximately two months before the deadline to file your 990 tax return.


Remember, your tax return is a public document and seen by donors, grantmakers, sponsors, fellow nonprofits and charity watchdogs so you do not want to rush the process of accurate filing. If this thought about your 990 leaves you a bit uneasy, let’s reframe your thinking…


The organization should consider Form 990 disclosure as an opportunity to highlight its accomplishments, rather than a burden. Use it as an opportunity to tell the organization's story by effectively stating its mission and program service accomplishments." -Andres Dominguez

Now that I’ve given you a slightly different perspective on filing your tax return, let’s play a game.


I’ve listed five questions below and I’d like you to give yourself 20 points for each time you answer “YES” and 0 points each time you answer “NO.”


1.) Are your accounting records accurate and up-to-date?

2.) Do you know who will be responsible to compile the information to file your 990?

3.) Do you have a qualified nonprofit CPA?

4.) Did you budget for the 990 tax filing expense?

5.) Do you plan an audit for your prior year?


Now, what’s your score? Did you get 100%? If you scored below average, I encourage you to develop your strategic accounting plan so you can be well prepared before the deadline to file!


Lastly, for those aspiring or emerging nonprofits that feel a little green when it comes to filing your first 990, here’s a very simple breakdown of frequently asked questions: https://blueavocado.org/finance/your-irs-form-990-questions-answered/






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