Understanding IRS Error Codes: Fixing an Incorrect Tax Year on 990 Returns

When it comes to completing your organization’s 990 Series Return, this is a process! Oftentimes this is a process that takes a village so to speak, so few things can be more disappointing than an IRS rejection. 

After the initial disappointment, there is of course the stress of “what’s next?” – here at Tax 990, we are here to help you take the stress and anxiety of an IRS rejection out of the equation and move on to the most important thing- understanding and resolving the error on your 990 Series return. 

After all, you have the option to easily update and retransmit your return to the IRS with no additional fees or charges – and of course, Tax990 will keep you updated on its status with the IRS. 

Join us for another helpful blog series we’re calling, ‘Understanding IRS Codes’! There will be more to come, but today we’ll be focusing on IRS error codes related to reporting an incorrect tax year. 

What Error Codes are Associated with an Incorrect Tax Year?

If you receive any of the following  E-file Error Code F990-901-02, F990N-901-01, TEGE-911, or F8868-908, this indicates that the IRS has rejected your return because the tax period end date in the return filed doesn’t match with the IRS e-file database. 

In this case, either the tax period end date in the ‘Header’ section doesn’t match the data in the E-File database, or the tax period end date of this return doesn’t match with the IRS e-file database.

These errors indicate that the tax period provided on the return does not match what the IRS has on file for your organization. A tax period is determined by the IRS when the organization receives exempt status. 

This information is indicated in the organization’s IRS determination letter. Each year, when filing a 990 series return, the tax year indicated on the form must match the IRS determination letter. If you file with the wrong tax period, the IRS will reject your return. 

Next Steps for Resolving an Incorrect Tax Year

First, reference your IRS determination letter or previously filed and accepted tax forms. If you do not have this documentation, you will need to contact the IRS to determine what tax period your organization should be reporting. 

A tax period is a 12-month time frame. The most common tax periods are January 1st – December 31st, or July 1st – June 30th. However, a tax period can be any 12-month time frame. 

If your organization operates on a fiscal tax year, which is any time frame other than January 1st – December 31st, then you would choose to begin a return for the tax year the tax period begins in. For example: If your tax period that you are filing for begins in 2021, and ends in 2022, you would choose to file a 2021 tax year form. 

Contacting the IRS: The IRS Tax Exempt Hotline is 877-829-5500. 

*When you call the IRS, you should have your EIN and organization name readily available. 

Retransmitting 990 Returns is Easy with Tax990!

Once you have worked through the rejection with the IRS and confirmed your organization’s tax period, you can edit your return if necessary and retransmit it to the IRS. 

If your 990 returns filed with Tax990 were rejected for IRS errors, you can fix the errors and retransmit the return for free.

There are 5 simple steps to retransmit your rejected return.

  1. Log into your Tax 990 account
  2. Identify the rejected return from your ‘Home’ or your ‘990 Series’ page.
  3. Once you’ve identified your rejected return, click on the “Rejected by the IRS” button to find the list of identified errors. Then, click the ‘Fix Me’ button against the error code
    • Based on the filing method you chose earlier, you’ll be taken to a corresponding page where you can correct the tax year.
  4. When editing the organization tax year, you will need to select the beginning month and specific day, then the ending date will auto-generate to a 12-month time frame.
  5. Review your form details and click the ‘Transmit’ button to re-transmit your return to the IRS at no additional cost.

After you have re-transmitted the return, you’ll receive updates about the status of your nonprofit tax return!

File Accurate and Complete Forms with Tax 990

With Tax 990, errors are no big deal. If there are any mistakes made while filling out your 990 return, you’ll be notified by our internal audit check system. Then, you’ll have the chance to correct any errors before you transmit the form to the IRS.

You can also find additional help on our website, which is full of guides, blogs, and videos about e-filing your 990 series form. Our dedicated customer support team is available to answer questions from Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM EST via email, live chat, and phone.

Tax990’s Knowledge Base includes numerous guides, instructional videos, and FAQs that can help our clients with their issues. 

Stay tuned for the next blog in our series!

nonprofit organization 990 e-filing