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Understanding IRS Form 990: An Essential Guide for Non-Profit Organizations

Discover what IRS Form 990 is, who should file it, and when it's due. Find out how 990.Tax can simplify this essential task for your non-profit organization.

03/06/2023 5:00 AM

As an online tax filing service specializing in non-profit taxes, we at 990.Tax understand how crucial it is for non-profit organizations to stay compliant with IRS regulations. One such requirement involves the submission of IRS Form 990. In this article, we will demystify this often misunderstood form, discussing its purpose, who should file it, and when it should be submitted.

What is IRS Form 990?

IRS Form 990 is an annual reporting return that certain federally tax-exempt organizations must file with the IRS. This form provides information about the organization’s mission, programs, and finances. Filing Form 990 allows the IRS and the public to evaluate a non-profit’s operations, ensuring that it maintains its tax-exempt status and operates in a manner consistent with its charitable purposes.

Who Should File IRS Form 990?

Typically, tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts greater than $200,000 or total assets greater than $500,000 at the end of the tax year are required to file Form 990. These include charitable, religious, scientific, and educational organizations, as well as veterans' posts, fraternal societies, and more.

Small tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts less than or equal to $50,000 may file Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard, while those with gross receipts above $50,000 and less than or equal to $200,000 and total assets less than or equal to $500,000 may file Form 990-EZ.

Private foundations, regardless of income, must file Form 990-PF.

When Should You File IRS Form 990?

Form 990 is typically due on the 15th day of the 5th month following the end of an organization's fiscal year. For organizations operating on the calendar year, the form is due on May 15th of the following year. Extensions may be requested using Form 8868 if more time is needed.

Consequences of Not Filing IRS Form 990

Failure to file Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or Form 990-N for three consecutive years will result in automatic revocation of an organization's tax-exempt status. This consequence underscores the importance of filing these forms promptly and accurately.

Extensions for IRS Form 990

Even with the best planning, there are instances when your organization may not be able to meet the filing deadline for IRS Form 990. In such cases, you can request an extension by filing Form 8868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization Return."

Form 8868 provides eligible tax-exempt organizations with additional time to file their annual returns, including Form 990. The form grants an automatic 6-month extension from the original due date, allowing organizations more time to gather necessary information and prepare their returns accurately.

You do not need to explain why you're requesting the extension. However, you must file Form 8868 by the original due date of the return to receive the extension. It's crucial to note that an extension to file isn't an extension to pay. If your organization owes taxes, they are still due by the original deadline.

How Can 990.Tax Help?

At 990.tax, we understand the intricacies of IRS Form 990 and are dedicated to simplifying the filing process for non-profit organizations. Our online tax filing service provides a streamlined, intuitive interface that guides you step by step through the filing process, helping to ensure accuracy and compliance.

Remember, it's not just about filing the form—it's about maintaining your non-profit's integrity, transparency, and tax-exempt status. With 990.tax, you'll have the peace of mind knowing you've taken care of your IRS Form 990 requirements in the most efficient manner possible.

Remember to share this article with your colleagues and fellow non-profit professionals. Stay tuned for more informative content, and don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions about your non-profit tax needs!

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