Is tomorrow the due date for filing for an automatic extension to file Form 990 and if so what is the new filing date? Can any officer file the extension request? And will that extension request automatically extend to my state filing deadline?
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service extended the filing date for Form 990s due between April 1 and July 14 until tomorrow, July 15, 2020. No action was required to obtain the new filing date. An organization that needs more time to complete the form may obtain an additional automatic six-month extension by filing Form 8868, either electronically or by mail. The extension will be for six months from the original due date, so for a calendar year organization it will run for six months from May 15 to November 15. For a June 30 fiscal year organization that had previously obtained a six-month extension so that its 2019 form was due May 15, there will be no further extension. The Form 8868 does not require an officer’s signature so presumably it can be filed by any authorized person.
Whether a federal extension suffices for state filings is a matter of state law. There are two possible filings that may be affected: (1) a Form 990 or Form 990-type tax filing if required in your state and (2) charitable solicitation registration in any of the 39 states and the District of Columbia that require registration before you ask their citizens for contributions. You will have to check each state to determine whether they granted an extension and what they will do about further delays.
Many charitable solicitation states have an automatic six-month extension for all filings so that a registration which would have been due in the normal course on May 15 for a calendar year organization will already have an extension until November 15. But you will have to check each state in which you are registered. If you don’t obtain a proper extension under the rules of each state, you may end up having to pay a late fee.