About IRS Form 990 – Definition, Meaning and Purpose

  Banking and Finance

Who file IRS Form 990?

Tax-exempt organizations, nonexempt charitable trusts, and section 527 political organizations file Form 990 to provide the IRS with the information required by section 6033.

What are the filing requirements for Form 990?

If any of the following are true, your organization is required to file a Form 990 (rather than a Form 990-EZ).

  • The organization’s gross receipts are greater than or equal to:
    • $200,000 (tax year 2010)
    • $500,000 (tax year 2009)
    • $1,000,000 (tax year 2008)
    • $100,000 (tax year 2007 and earlier)
  • The organization’s assets are greater than or equal to:
    • $500,000 (tax year 2010)
    • $1,250,000 (tax year 2009)
    • $2,500,000 (tax year 2008)
    • $250,000 (tax year 2007 and earlier)
  • The organization has unrelated business gross income of greater than or equal to $1,000.
  • The organization maintained donor advised funds during the year the Organization was related to a Controlled Entity
  • 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5) or 501(c)(6) Organizations: The organization is subject to the Lobbying Proxy Tax (section 6033(e) of the IRS Code).

Electronic filing provides fast acknowledgement that the IRS has received the return and reduces normal processing time, making compliance with reporting and disclosure requirements easier. Charities and non-profits can file the following forms electronically through an IRS Authorized e-File Provider.

  • Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax
  • Form 990-EZ, Short Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax
  • Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation
  • Form 990-N (e-Postcard)
  • Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization Return
  • Form 1120-POL, U.S. Income Tax Return of Political Organizations
  • Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns (extension form for Form 1120-POL)

Form 990-N (e-Postcard) – Annual electronic filing requirement for small tax-exempt organizations

Small tax-exempt organizations (those normally with annual gross receipts up to $50,000 may be required to file an annual electronic notice, Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations not Required To File Form 990 or 990-EZ. This filing requirement applies to tax periods beginning after December 31, 2006, and may apply to organizations that previously were not required to file returns.

Required e-filing of Forms 990 and 990-PF for certain large tax-exempt organizations

Exempt organizations with $10 million or more in total assets may be required to e-file if the organization files at least 250 returns in a calendar year, including income, excise, employment tax and information returns. Private foundations and non-exempt charitable trusts are required to file Forms 990-PF electronically regardless of their asset size, if they file at least 250 returns annually. The electronic filing requirement does not apply to Form 8868.

Instructions for Form 990

Electronic filing requirements have not changed for Form 990 filers with tax years beginning before July 2, 2019 (which includes calendar year 2019 Forms 990). Required electronic filing for calendar year filers will apply for tax years beginning in 2020 and later.

Purpose of Form 990

Forms 990 and 990-EZ are used by tax-exempt organizations, nonexempt charitable trusts, and section 527 political organizations to provide the IRS with the information required by section 6033. An organization’s completed Form 990 or 990-EZ, and a section 501(c)(3) organization’s Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return, generally are available for public inspection as required by section 6104. Schedule B (Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF), Schedule of Contributors, is available for public inspection for section 527 organizations filing Form 990 or 990-EZ. For other organizations that file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ, parts of Schedule B (Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF), can be open to public inspection.

Who Must File Form 990

Most organizations exempt from income tax under section 501(a) must file an annual information return (Form 990 or 990-EZ) or submit an annual electronic notice (Form 990-N), depending upon the organization’s gross receipts and total assets.

An organization may not file a “consolidated” Form 990 to aggregate information from another organization that has a different EIN, unless it is filing a group return and reporting information from a subordinate organization or organizations, reporting information from a joint venture or disregarded entity (see Appendices E and F, later), or as otherwise provided for in the Code, regulations, or official IRS guidance. A parent-exempt organization of a section 501(c)(2) title-holding company may file a consolidated Form 990-T with the section 501(c)(2) organization, but not a consolidated Form 990.

When, Where, and How To File Form 990

File Form 990 by the 15th day of the 5th month after the organization’s accounting period ends (May 15th for a calendar-year filer). If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, file on the next business day. A business day is any day that isn’t a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. If the organization is liquidated, dissolved, or terminated, file the return by the 15th day of the 5th month after liquidation, dissolution, or termination. If the return isn’t filed by the due date (including any extension granted), explain in a separate attachment, giving the reasons for not filing on time.

Send the return to:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Ogden, UT 84201-0027

Foreign and U.S. possession organizations. If the organization’s principal business, office, or agency is located in a foreign country or U.S. possession, send the return to:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
P.O. Box 409101
Ogden, UT 84409

Summary
About IRS Form 990 - Definition, Meaning and Purpose
Article Name
About IRS Form 990 - Definition, Meaning and Purpose
Description
Tax-exempt organizations, nonexempt charitable trusts, and section 527 political organizations file Form 990 to provide the IRS with the information required by section 6033. Electronic filing provides fast acknowledgement that the IRS has received the return and reduces normal processing time, making compliance with reporting and disclosure requirements easier.
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Plianced Inc.
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