Fiscal Year Required Paperwork: Taxes

Required Paperwork

There are two pieces of paperwork that your section is required to complete for the end of the SWE Fiscal Year, (1) the Annual Financial Report, and (2) taxes. This blog post will walk you through the second and usually more stressful piece of paperwork: taxes. Taxes are due on November 15th, but it’s never too early to get started!

Tune in Friday for more information how to stay financially organized with budgets and ledgers!

Taxes and the IRS (Federal tax exemption)

  • Some collegiate sections may be covered by their school or university, and not require an individual EIN
    • Check with your school/university first BEFORE applying for an EIN
  • All other sections are covered by SWE 501(c)3 status
    • Provides exemptions from federal taxes, and allows certain tax-
      deductible donations to your Section
    • Many sections are already considered subordinates
    • A section’s EIN may also be known as a Federal Tax Identification Number
    • If you are not sure of your status, first email finance committee at
      • May then be directed to apply for an EIN and file paperwork with SWE HQ
  • Lost your EIN?
  • Collegiate sections not covered by the school/universities and all professional sections are required to have an EIN and file with the IRS every year
    • Must submit to the IRS between July 1st and November 15th
    • If your section has gross receipts <$50,000 (avg. over 3 years)
      • Submit IRS form 990-N (also called e-Postcard)
    • If your section has gross receipts >$50,000 (avg. over 3 years)
      • Submit full IRS Form 990 or 990EZ
  • SWE HQ does not complete this filing on the section’s behalf: it is the responsibility of the treasurer to file each year
    • The section risks losing tax-exempt status if not filed every year!

Tax Filing Requirements

  • To electronically submit Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or Form 990EZ, use the Form 990-N Electronic Filing System (e-Postcard).
    • The Form 990-N electronic-filing system moved from Urban Institute’s website to in February 2016. All filers must register at prior to filing their next Form 990-N.
    • This is a one-time registration; you won’t be asked to register again when filing next year.
    • If you have trouble filing or encounter website issues, call TE/GE Customer Accounts Services at 877-829-5500. A representative will file your Form 990-N information.
  • Form 990-N must be completed and filed electronically. There is no paper form.
  • Form 990-N filers may also choose to file a complete Form 990 or Form 990-EZ instead.

Federal vs State Tax Exempt

  • Federal tax exemption
    • Allows you to NOT pay taxes on your income/interest
    • ALL SWE Sections have this through either your university or as a subordinate of SWE (HQ)
    • Must still pay sales tax at the state level
  • State sales-tax exemption
    • Allows you to avoid paying sales tax on purchases made for your section (often only when paid for directly with SWE funds)
    • Forms and process will vary state by state
    • Sections are eligible to file for this, but HQ cannot assist you or guide you through the process
    • One example resource:



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