The Internal Revenue Service announced that it is granting this extension of time to file because the part of the e-file system that processes electronically filed returns of tax-exempt organizations will be off-line during January and February. The agency stressed that the rest of the e-file system will continue to operate normally and urged all individuals and businesses to choose the accuracy, speed and convenience of electronic filing.
In general, the extension applies to tax-exempt organizations whose normal filing deadline is either January 17 or February 15, 2012. Ordinarily, these deadlines would apply to organizations with a fiscal year that ended on August 31 or September 30, 2011, respectively.
The extension also applies to organizations that already obtained an initial three-month filing extension and now have an extended filing deadline that falls on January 17 or February 15, 2012. The majority of tax-exempt organizations will be unaffected by this extension because they operate on a calendar-year basis and have a May 15 filing deadline.
The extension applies to affected organizations filing Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, or 1120-POL. Form 990-N filers will not be affected. No form needs to be filed to get the March 30 extension.
In order to avoid receiving a late filing penalty notice, a reasonable cause statement should be attached to the tax return. If organizations receive late-filing penalty notices, they should contact the IRS so that these penalties can be abated. The IRS encouraged these organizations to consider either e-filing early — before the end of December — or waiting until March to file electronically.Further details are in Notice 2012-4, posted on www.IRS.gov.