How do I file an extension for a 990 return?
You can use Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return, to e-file a request for an automatic 6-month extension.
To prepare an extension:
- Open the EXT screen and check the box Generate six-month extension (No other entries required).
- If necessary, enter the type of return to be filed and books in care of information.
- On the EF screen, check the box Federal 8868 only.
- Make sure the PIN screen is either fully completed or does not exist
- When e-filed, the 8868 does not have to be signed, but if the PIN screen exists in the return, it must be complete*.
- In view mode:
- On the ETD_MSG page, clear any messages.
- On the 990EF page, confirm that the 8868 option is selected.
- When you select the return for transmission, confirm that only the 8868 is listed in the EF Documents column of the EF Return Selector.
Once you have filed the extension and are ready to file the the return itself, follow these steps:
- On the EF screen, uncheck the box Federal 8868 only and check the appropriate box(es) for what you intend to transmit.
- Go to the EXT screen and check the box Client has paper-filed the extension and is now ready to file the return.
- This box must be marked whether you paper-filed or efiled the extension.
- When you select the return for transmission, confirm that the 8868 is not listed in the EF Documents column of the EF Return Selector.
*If efiling a state extension, the PIN screen may need to be completed to allow State extension efiling (where supported) even if the PIN screen is not required for the federal extension.
Note that while the 990 allowed for an additional extension in previous years, the 2017 revision of form 8868 allows for only the single 6-month extension, and does not allow for an additional 3-month extension. For more information on extensions for tax exempt organizations, please see the Instructions for Form 990.