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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Federal Tax ID# and tax filing requirements



Over the summer, a friend and I were trying to start a nonprofit partnership.  In order to register to accept donations in our state, we had to get a Federal Tax ID#.  We got the tax ID, but life got in the way and we never went any further with our enterprise.  We had no income at all from it and only a few minor expenses.  We did not register as a 501(c)(3).  

Since we have a Federal Tax ID#, do we have to file taxes this year? Will there be any penalties if we don't?  Can we keep the number in case we're in a better place next year to continue work on this project?  Thanks!



Thanks for your question.

Generally speaking, a partnership will not qualify to be a 501(c)(3) organization.  They are usually corporations or associations. My advice would be to terminate the ID number you have, then get another one if you start back up - and form a corporation.

However, to answer your question.  Technically, when an organization is issued a tax ID number, it must file a return every year.  Therefore, you should file a zero return.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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