Form 990 Wikipedia


Organizations described by any of these sections must file Form 990 even if the organization has not applied for a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service. The organization should make reasonable efforts to obtain this information.

For additional details, always make sure to review the most current informationon the IRS’s website. The organization whose tax-exempt status got revoked by the IRS can reinstate that status by following any of the below processes based on their applicability. Form 990 is used by such organizations to report their annual information to the IRS.

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We explain below the basic requirements for filing your nonprofit’s annual information return with the IRS, but you can also rely on excellent information from the IRS website itself. Here is an overview of the annual filing requirements; this IRS webpage explains which form to file, with links to the various forms. IRS Form 990 is an informational tax form that most tax-exempt organizations must file annually. In a nutshell, the form gives the IRS an overview of the organization’s activities, governance and detailed financial information. In June 2007, the IRS released a revised Form 990 that requires significant disclosures on corporate governance and boards of directors. These new disclosures are required for all filers for the 2009 tax year, with more significant reporting requirements for organizations with either revenues exceeding $1 million or assets exceeding $2.5 million. Form 990 is required to be filed by most tax-exempt organizations under section 501.


Form 990 (officially, the “Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax”) is a United States Internal Revenue Service form that provides the public with financial information about a nonprofit organization. It is also used by government agencies to prevent organizations from abusing their tax-exempt status. Certain nonprofits have more comprehensive reporting requirements, such as hospitals and other health care organizations . 990-T to report unrelated business income tax; and various other forms for organizations that don’t meet 990 filing requirements. A private foundation exempt under section 501 and described in section 509. If the organization successfully terminates, then it files Form 990 or 990-EZ in its final year of termination.

Building a Nonprofit Board of Directors

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your budgeting practices and where there’s room for improvement. In August 2006, Congress passed the Pension Protection Act of 2006. As the name suggests, this particular bill was an overhaul of the US code regarding the operation of large corporate pension funds. Slipped into the bill in conference committee, however, was 393 pages of legislation that have been progressively affecting 501 and other exempt entities ever since.

What is the difference between 990-EZ and 990-PF?

The full-length 990 form is required for nonprofits who gross $200,000 or more in total receipts, or total assets of $500,000 or more. The 990-EZ and 990-N are for nonprofits who grossed less during the year (over $50,000 in total gross receipts and under $50,000 respectively). The 990-PF is for private foundations.

The IRS defines gross receipts as the total amount of money an organization received from all sources during its fiscal year . Private foundations are a unique class of 501 organization. As such, they have their own exclusive version of IRS Form 990, called Form 990-PF. Where Form 990-PF differs greatly from other, previously mentioned, IRS forms is in the filing threshold… there is none!

Common Ways to Find Form 990s for Nonprofits

The Form 990 provides the IRS with information about your nonprofit’s activities and financial status in order to demonstrate that your nonprofit still meets the qualifications for tax-exemption. Since your organization’s Form 990 is available for public disclosure, it is important to understand how the data will be reviewed in relation to your organization’s mission, programs, and finances. The 990, which must be made public, also provides an easy way for donors and other people interested in supporting a particular cause to find and evaluate the best charities to support. In effect, the 990 can be a public relations tool for a charity when care is taken to fill it out correctly and carefully. When reviewing IRS Form 990s for nonprofits, begin your search by identifying organizations with goals and missions comparable to yours. Next, identify the grantmakers who have provided funding to these nonprofit organizations to determine if your nonprofit could potentially be a good candidate for an upcoming funding cycle.


When preparing to file the Form 990, it is also important to review the instructions for the form. The instructions provide detailed information about what information is required and how it should be reported. It is important to follow the instructions carefully, as failure to do so can lead to errors and potential penalties. Form 990 must be filed on or before the 15th day of the fifth month after the end of a tax year.

A state reporting requirement requires the organization to report certain revenue, expense, or balance sheet items differently from the way it normally accounts for them on its books. A Form 990 prepared for that state is acceptable for the IRS reporting purposes if the state reporting requirement does not conflict with the Instructions for Form 990. See the instructions for definitions of related organization and control and determine the organization’s related organizations required to be listed in Schedule R . If an organization eligible to submit the Form 990-N or file the Form 990-EZ chooses to file the Form 990, it must file a complete return. Unless otherwise specified, information should be provided for the organization’s tax year. For instance, an organization should answer “Yes” to a question asking whether it conducted a certain type of activity only if it conducted that activity during the tax year. If your organization is a Public Charity, you will need to remove the schedule B before uploading your organization’s 990.

Which 990 form should I file?

An organization that normally has $50,000 or more in gross receipts and that is required to file an exempt organization information return must file either Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income TaxPDF, or Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income TaxPDF.

The organization’s records should be kept for as long as they may be needed for the administration of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code. Usually, records that support an item of income, deduction, or credit must be kept for a minimum of 3 years from the date the return is due or filed, whichever is later. Keep records that verify the organization’s basis in property for as long as they are needed to figure the basis of the original or replacement property.

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