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Nonprofit Law/Clarification on fiscal year change, using 990


Hello Mr. Mechanic
I'm researching for our nonprofit, and discovered your great service on allexperts. Thank you for your time. The missing piece of the changing fiscal year question isn't the form for us, we'll use 990... but rather what the transition period is called and how it is administered. We are going from fiscal calendar year to school year, basically. If we want to start our new fiscal year July 1, 2015 and we state such on the 990 this year ending Dec 31, how do we handle the time period between Jan 1, 2015-June 30, 2015? From the looks of i990 PDF instructions, we'll need to file a 990 for that "Short Period" via the mail after July. Correct? Then next year, we'll file a 990 electronically with the new fiscal year dates, correct?, because we'll have already declared our fiscal year change on this year's 990 ending Dec 31, '14.

And that's it, I think. No fees, or such.
Thanks for your clarification.

"If an organization that submits Form 990-N changes its accounting period, it must report this change on Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or Form 1128, or by sending a letter to Internal Revenue
Service, 1973 N. Rulon White Blvd., Ogden, Utah 84404." (0n page 5 right column).

Note on pdf page 5, right column, of the IRS instructions to Form 990 which is available at:
--- Start of Excerpt ---
A short accounting period is a period of less than 12 months, which exists when an organization first commences operations, changes its accounting period, or terminates... If the organization changes its accounting period, it must file a Form 990 for the short period resulting from the change. Write "Change of Accounting Period" at the top of this short-period return. If the organization previously changed its accounting period within the 10-calendar-year period that includes the beginning of the short period, and it had a Form 990 filing requirement at any time during that 10-year period, it must also attach a Form 1128 to the short-period return. See Rev. Proc. 85-58, 1985-2
C.B. 740.
---End of Excerpt---

You are welcome.

Harvey Mechanic
Attorney at Law

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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