by Tessa Stuart
Today is the deadline for nonprofit organizations to file form 990, the annual reporting form to the IRS, and a number of local charities are at risk of losing their status if they don’t file. As of one month ago, there were 535 nonprofits in Oakland that hadn't filed, 221 in Berkeley, and 90 in Richmond, among others in neighboring cities. The 990 is a statement of the organization’s mission, the work it does, and its finances. If an organization loses its status, it will be required to file and pay income taxes, and donors will no longer be able to write-off donations. Among the organizations are a number of those that provide services for youth, seniors, and minorities in the East Bay.
An organization automatically loses its nonprofit status if it fails to file the form three years in a row, but many organizations may not even know that they are required to do so. Private foundations, nonprofits, and organizations that are tax-exempt under Sections 501(c), 527, or 4947(a)(1) of the U.S. tax code are required to file. Faith-based and missionary organizations, religious schools, and subsidiaries of other nonprofits are exempt. Nonprofits that make less than $25,000 only need to file an “e-postcard,” while organizations earning more will need to submit detailed paperwork.
For a full list of nonprofits at risk in your area, check the database.