The IRS and Franchise Tax Board Deadlines for filing your Charter’s 2017-2018 Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax returns with an extension is May 15, 2019, but don’t let that scare you! With proper preparation this deadline doesn’t have to be scary.
If a return isn’t filed for three consecutive years, the Charter School risks automatic revocation of their Tax-Exempt Status. In addition, the school could be subjected to penalties for failure to file and those add up very quickly. Don’t let this happen to your school. Make sure you hire a competent CPA firm to handle your Annual Audits and tax filings- The California Department of Education has a list of approved firms to handle these sort of tasks for you: https://cpads.sco.ca.gov/CPAList.aspx
Make sure your school stays organized throughout the year, whether you handle the finances in house or have an outside firm helping you with back office tasks, documentation for every dollar received and spent is critical. When your Audit Firm requests information so that they can complete the annual audit and subsequent tax filings, get them the information as soon as possible (this is where organization of your files and finances is crucial.)
Being organized, prepared and finding a knowledgeable firm to help your school with this task are great first steps to making sure this necessary evil is handled properly and on time.