Important Dates for Exempt Organizations: Annual Return Filing

Important Dates for Exempt Organizations: Annual Return Filing

Staying on top of tax filings can be a challenge for any organization, but for nonprofits, it’s especially important to meet deadlines in order to maintain your tax-exempt status. This blog post will explore the different due dates and filing methods for the annual return, a critical document for the IRS.

Three Ways to File

There are three ways for exempt organizations to file their annual return according to the IRS

  • Paper filing: This is the traditional method, but it can be time-consuming and prone to errors.
  • Electronic filing: The IRS strongly encourages electronic filing, which is faster, more secure, and easier to track.
  • Filing an extension: If you need more time to complete your return, you can file Form 8868 to request an automatic 6-month extension.

Due Dates to Remember

The due date for your annual return depends your organization’s fiscal year end, as outlined by the IRS or using the chart below:

Ending date of tax yearInitial return due dateExtended due date
December 31May 15November 15
November 30April 15October 15
October 31March 15September 15
September 30February 15August 15
August 31January 15July 15
July 31December 15June 15
June 30November 15May 15
May 31October 15April 15
April 30September 15March 15
March 31August 15February 15
February 28/29July 15January 15
January 31June 15December 15

*If a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day.  The table above does not reflect the additional day.

Maintaining Your Exempt Status

Filing your annual return on time is crucial for maintaining your organization’s exempt status. The IRS uses the information in this return to ensure that your organization is complying with the requirements for tax-exempt status.


This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. By staying informed about these deadlines and filing procedures, you can help your nonprofit organization stay compliant and continue to focus on its important mission.

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