Change is necessary and normal for all organizations. For example, during their lifecycle, exempt organizations may find the need to rebrand and change their name. Other common situations include, exempt organizations moving business locations or re-evaluating their year end to report their financial ebbs and flows more accurately.
We are often asked, “How are these changes reported to the Internal Revenue Service?”
Reporting name changes to the IRS
Exempt organizations must report their name change on their next annual return by checking the name change box on page 1 of Form 990 or 990-EZ. To support the name change the Internal Revenue Service requires supporting documentation that depends on how the organization is structured but may include: a copy of the amendment to the Articles of Incorporation in the case of an incorporated entity or an amendment to the trust instrument in the case of a trust.
For organizations that do not file annual returns, such as clients who file the Form 990-N Postcard, the name change should be reported to the IRS by letter or fax to Customer Account Services at:
Internal Revenue Service
Exempt Organizations Determinations
P.O. Box 2508
Cincinnati, OH 45201
The fax or mail must include the organization’s full name (both the prior and new name), employer identification number, and authorized signature of an officer or trustee.
Reporting year end changes to the IRS
An organization that changes its accounting period must file either a 990 or 990-EZ for the short period resulting from the change. A short period return is any return filed which covers a period of less than 12 months, which exists when an organization first commences operations, changes its accounting period, or terminates. Change in accounting period will appear on the top of page 1 of Form 990 or 990-EZ and the new fiscal year end also be clearly reported in the year end field of the annual return. For example, if a June 30, 2023 organization wanted to change to a September 30, 2023 year-end, they would file a short year Form 990 or 990-EZ for the period from July 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022, and file the Form 990 or 990-EZ for the 12 months from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023. A change in accounting period cannot be done through filing a 990-N, instead, a 990-N filer would have to file either Form 990-EZ or 990 to report their change in accounting period.
If an organization has already changed its accounting period within the last 10 calendar years, Form 1128, Application to Adopt, Change, or Retain a Tax Year must be used to change its accounting period.
Reporting address changes to the IRS
Exempt organizations report their address change on their next annual return by checking the address change box on page 1 of Form 990 or 990-EZ. An organization may also change its address by filing Form 8822-B, Change of Address-Business with the IRS.
For organizations that do not file annual returns but file the postcard 990-N, the change is as simple as entering their new address.
When any of the above changes are made with the IRS an organization may want to consider obtaining an affirmation of exempt status to reflect their new name, year end, or address change. This can be done by contacting Customer Account Services via phone, letter, or fax. The letter requesting an affirmation letter must include an exempt organization’s full name, employer identification number, and authorized signature of an officer or trustee.
Navigating the intricacies of 990 filing can be daunting, but the Wegner CPAs 990 team is here to help!
Join us on March 8th for Understanding the IRS Form 990 for Executives. This webinar will provide an overview of Form 990 and specific areas of interest for Executives and those on the board tasked with governance decisions. We will discuss the areas of the tax return that are of most interest to outsiders looking at the return including compensation and governance and policies of the organization. We will also discuss how when completed effectively Form 990 can be used by an organization as a marketing tool for their organization. Register today to save your spot!
If you have any further questions relating to your IRS filing requirements or Form 990, please reach out to your Wegner CPAs advisor.