Nonprofits and the Revised IRS Form 990

tax expert

IRS Form 990 is a document that most federally tax-exempt organizations, including charitable nonprofit organizations or foundations, file each year with the IRS. This form does not convey tax-exempt status; approval must be filed for separately. This form is intended to provide the government and interested members of the public with a snapshot of the organization’s activities for that year. In addition, it is an easy way for donors to find and evaluate the best charities to support, as it displays important financial information about an organization’s activities. The Form 990 is a public document as soon as it is filed. After a few months, it will become available on the IRS website and


The IRS also wants to ensure that the organization is worthy of maintaining its tax-exempt status and requires more details on the types of activities it engages in during the year. An organization that over-compensates its management may jeopardize its tax-exempt status with the IRS. As a nonprofit professional, figuring out tax requirements probably isn’t the most fun part of your job. But it’s a necessary task to keep your organization up and running, allowing you to maintain your tax-exempt status and take stock of your fundraising progress.

What To Know Before Buying a Membership Database Software

The IRS reminds filers that the amounts are adjusted for inflation annually. The gross receipts and maximum penalty amounts applicable now increased from $1,000,000 to $1,015,500 and $50,000 to $50,500 respectively. If the return is not filed by the due date , explain in a separate attachment, giving the reasons for not filing on time. If the organization is liquidated, dissolved, or terminated, file the return by the 15th day of the 5th month after liquidation, dissolution, or termination. Complete Part IV of Form 990 to determine which schedules must be completed by the organization. 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.

  • If an organization changes its accounting method, it must report any adjustment due to the change in Parts VIII through XI of the core form and in Schedule D, Parts XI and XII under the adjustment rules in IRC §481.
  • To read the nonprofit profile of an organization, simply click on its name, and you will have access to its 990.
  • Tools Use our free tools to help determine your deadline and required forms.
  • We do encourage nonprofit organizations to post their most recent 990s themselves if we have not yet received the official version from the government.
  • You may apply for a six month extension, which is automatic so long as it is received by the original filing due date.
  • Part I requires a summary of the organization’s activity, including its mission and all the events.

Throughout the instructions, IRS deleted specific references to section 4947 trusts, relying instead on the understanding that they are treated like section 501 organizations and must complete all the sections the 501 must complete. An organization the gross receipts of which are normally not more than $5,000, that supports a section 501 religious organization. If you are planning an audit of your organization, it is best to do so before you file Form 990 because you will need to include the information from your audit in your 990. Additionally, the IRS offers instructions and guides for each form to help you with the filing process.

Take Action Now to Reduce Your 2023 Tax Liability

There are four versions of Form 990 that may apply to most nonprofit organizations. Which one you file will depend on the type of organization and your size . We’ll look at each of the options below so you can determine which one is right for you. Form 990-N.Also known as the Form 990 e-Postcard, small nonprofits with less than $50,000 in annual gross receipts can file Form 990-N. There is no printout available for this form.


If it still is not able to obtain the information, it may make a reasonable estimate and explain the circumstance and the estimate in Schedule O. 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. Applicable law and an organization’s policies can require that the organization retain records longer than 3 years. Form 990, Part VI, line 14, asks whether the organization has a document retention and destruction policy.

Where to Find Form 990s for Nonprofit Organizations

A simple tax return is one that’s filed using IRS Form 1040 only, without having to attach any forms or schedules. Tax documents can often be overwhelming and confusing to fill out, especially if you’re filling out a longer form like Form 990. Form 990 software simplifies the filing process by completing most of the heavy lifting required to complete the form.


You’re not alone if the grant application process intimidates or is foreign to you. You may have heard tales of the lengthy wait times, voluminous paperwork requirements, and appalling rejection rates—and may not even be sure where to begin looking for a grant. The information within 990s can be incredibly beneficial for nonprofits looking to receive funding dollars through grants.

The “How To” Grants Manual

Some states continue to require disclosure of this information to state agencies. The state of Montana and the state of New Jersey filed a lawsuit stating that the IRS had violated the Administrative Procedure Act by waiving the donor disclosure requirements without allowing the public to comment on the new procedure. A federal judge agreed and reinstated the donor disclosure requirements. The IRS may finalize the proposed regulations on or after December 9, 2019.

  • The PPA changed all that with the introduction of the Form 990-N for small, low revenue organizations – which now means that all 501 organizations must file some version of the Form 990, regardless of its gross revenue.
  • Protect your organization’s tax exemption and remain in good standing with the IRS by working with us at Community Tax.
  • IRS Form 990-PF, only for private foundations – but required of all private foundations regardless of total revenue, instructions are 40 pages long.
  • Hospital organizations use Schedule H to provide information on the activities and policies of, and community benefit provided by, its hospital facilities and other non-hospital health care facilities that it operated during the tax year.
  • Starting in 2000, political organizations were required to file Form 990.
  • Form 990-PF asks for information about income, grants and gifts funded by the foundation, leadership compensation, and more.

To round, drop amounts under 50 cents and increase amounts from 50 to 99 cents to the next dollar. If the organization has to add two or more amounts to figure the amount to enter on a line, include cents when adding the amounts and round off only the total. Also, this penalty can be imposed if the organization’s return contains incorrect information. For example, an organization that reports contributions net of related fundraising expenses can be subject to this penalty.

It is widely used by section 527, nonexempt charitable trusts, and tax-exempt institutions. The form includes information on the taxes, an overview of the organization’s life and activities, and must be sent directly to the IRS. Used by the government to determine whether you can retain tax exempt status for the year and charity evaluation organizations who determine if donor money is being used properly. As the date rapidly approaches, it’s important to have your house in order so as to avoid any kind of last-minute issues or crunches that could pop up if you wait. The Form 990 is the standard filing option for nonprofits. This more detailed version is about eight pages in length.

What is the difference between Form 990 and Form 990-T?

Form 990 provides the public with financial information about a nonprofit organization, while Form 990-T is a form that a tax-exempt organization files with the IRS to report its unrelated business income and to figure the tax owed on that income.

This entry was posted in Bookkeeping. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.