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Private Foundation - Annual Return

All private foundations, whether they have taxable income for or activity during the year or not (including nonexempt private foundations, and nonexempt charitable trusts described in section 4947(a)(1) of the Code that are treated as private foundations), are required to file an annual return on Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation. If your organization has an application pending with the IRS, and you acknowledge that your organization is a private foundation, you should file this form.

When to file

Form 990-PF must be filed by the 15th day of the 5th month following the close of the organization’s accounting period.

If the foundation is on a calendar year, or if it has no established accounting period, the return will be due May 15 each year.

For a complete liquidation, dissolution, or termination, the return must be filed by the 15th day of the 5th month following complete liquidation, dissolution, or termination.

Where to file

Form 990-PF should be filed with the Internal Revenue Service Center listed in the instructions for these forms. For tax years ending on or after December 31, 2006, private foundations will be required to file these forms electronically if they file more than 250 returns a year.

Failure to file timely

If an organization fails to file Form 990-PF by the due date (taking into account any extensions granted), it will have to pay $20 for each day the return is late ($100 a day for large organizations), not to exceed the lesser of $10,000 ($50,000 for large organizations) or 5 percent of the organization’s gross receipts, unless it show that the failure was due to reasonable cause. The IRS may make written demand that the delinquent return be filed within a reasonable time after the date of mailing the demand. If the organization does not file by the date specified in the demand, the person or persons responsible for the failure to file will be subject to a penalty of $10 a day for each day after the date specified in the notice that the return is not filed unless it is shown that the failure to file is due to reasonable cause. The total amount imposed on all persons responsible for the failure to file is limited to $5,000. The penalty is also applicable to a failure to provide information required by the return, or a failure to file correct information.

Additional information


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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 26-Nov-2013