Nonprofit calendar

This calendar supposes a small nonprofit formed in Massachusetts, with a fiscal year end (FYE) of December 31. For items such as the 990 and Form PC, just count forward from your own FYE. As usual, the information here is the personal opinion of Cathy Keeps Books and not guaranteed complete or accurate.

January

Gather information for and complete your 1099 forms. They are due by January 31 to the recipients, and the 1096 summary form is due at the same time to the IRS.

Start your audit (or financial review) prep.

February

Your auditors should start their fieldwork around now. Any later and you might experience the unfortunate stress effects of an audit time crunch.

March

If your audit is not progressing apace, consider filing (or asking your audit firm to file) for extensions on your 990 and Form PC.

April

Your draft audit or financial review should be ready by around mid-month. That gives you and everyone involved—your board chair and treasurer, finance committee, executive director, etc.—a week or three to decipher review the documents and sign all tax forms that need to be filed.

May

Your Form 990 is due on the fifteenth day of the fifth month after the close of your fiscal year. The Massachusetts Form PC, on the other hand, is due 4.5 months after the close of your FYE. Surprise! Those are the same thing! So both are due on May 15, which is no coincidence, since your 990 must be attached to your Form PC.

June

If your organization offers a retirement plan, you might feel like preparing your Form 5500 right around now.

July

Regardless of your fiscal year, Form 5500 is due on July 31 (for plan years ending in December).

August, September, October

Are you keeping workpapers and doing regular monthly closes? You should be. Check out the Bookkeeping Basics Mini-Manual in the sidebar for more information.

November

The Massachusetts Annual Report is due on November 1.

Reach out to your audit firm (or, if you’re shopping around, firms). You should have an engagement in place before your fiscal year ends.

December

Buy your 1099 forms for next year (unless you plan to e-file)! Don’t wait ’til January, because the whole world and her brother will be trying to get hold of them. And make sure you have tax ID numbers for every 1099 recipient on your list.

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