TEP Tax Exemption and Tax Reporting Assistance Program
For Clean Cities Coalitions
Transportation Energy Partners (TEP) offers Clean Cities Coalitions assistance with IRS tax compliance. There are two steps to this: (1) Obtaining 501(c)(3) status and (2) Financial reporting to the IRS on a Form 990 return.
(1)Obtaining 501(c)(3) Status
Each Coalition must obtain 501(c)(3) status, which can occur in one of two ways:
(a) A Coalition can file its own Form 1023 with the applicable fee, to apply to the IRS for separate 501(c)(3) status. If the Coalition obtains 501(c)(3) status in this manner, it has to do its own Form 990 reporting.
(b)Alternatively, a Coalition can be included in TEP’s Group 501(c)(3) Ruling Roster by completing two pages of information, and paying a $120 annual fee to TEP. Each summer, TEP files its Group Ruling roster with the IRS. A Coalition that is part of the Group Ruling can either do its own Form 990 reporting, or have its financial information reported on the TEP Group Form 990.
(2)Financial Reporting to the IRS on a Form 990 Return. Every Coalition must be included on some version of Form 990 each year. As noted above, every year the financial information for each Coalition must be reported to the IRS. This can be done by the Coalition or, if they are part of the Group Ruling, by TEP.
(a) Coalitions with a total income less than $50,000 can and should use a Form 990N. This is a very simple return and it is recommended that the Coalitions complete and return this form themselves. TEP will provide assistance, should any be needed.
(b)Coalitions with incomes from $50,000 to $249,999 can report their financial activity on Form 990EZ (which is a full tax return with mandatory Schedules) or, if they are part of the TEP Group Ruling, have TEP report it on the Group Ruling Form 990. The approximate cost for having a Coalition’s Form 990 EZ information included on the TEP return is $400 to $500. It is assumed that if a coalition elects to file a Form 990 EZ, they will do this on their own, and not ask for support from TEP. TEP will send out emails in advance of the filing process asking for the coalition’s filing election.
(c) For Coalitions with incomes of $250,000 or more, a Form 990 must be completed and returned. Here again, your Coalition can complete this Form, but it is a complex tax form with mandatory Schedules that also have to be completed. To have your Form 990 information included on TEP’s Group Ruling return will range in preparation cost from $700 to $1,000 or more, depending on the complexity of your financial information.
Filing fees may vary based on unforeseen circumstances. In most cases the above rules will apply.
Legal Tax Deadlines
(1) TAX EXEMPT STATUS: By June 15 of each year, notify TEP that you want your Coalition to be included on the TEP 501(c)(3) Group Ruling Roster for the upcoming (October 1 – September 30) fiscal year.
2) TAX REPORTING: If the Coalition is part of our Group Ruling Roster for any October 1 – September 30 fiscal year a and wants to be included in the TEP 501(c)(3) Group 990 Tax Return, notify TEP by February 1 of each year, and provide TEP with the tax information requested by March 30. This gives TEP time to prepare the Group 990 Return.
b and does not want to be included in the TEP 501(c)(3) Group 990 Tax Return, your Coalition needs to file your 990 tax return or an extension request with the IRS by February 15.
Steps to Participate
If you have questions about becoming a 501(c)(3) Chapter of Transportation Energy Partners and would like to find out more about how your Coalition can participate, please click here.Steps to Participate