what is a 990 form

The 990 also gives each nonprofit an opportunity to report what it accomplished the prior year, thus making a case for keeping its tax-exempt status. Most tax-exempt organizations that have gross receipts of at least $200,000 or assets worth at least $500,000 must file Form 990 on an annual basis. Some organizations, such as political organizations, churches and other religious organizations, are exempt from filing an annual Form 990. Many organizations that file Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF must file Schedule B (Form 990) to report on tax-deductible and non-tax-deductible contributions. See Schedule B (Form 990) and its instructions to determine whether Schedule B (Form 990) must be filed. See also the Instructions for Schedule B (Form 990) for the public inspection rules applicable to that form.

what is a 990 form

Grant Management Series: Involving Your CFO throughout the Grant Application Process

An officer is a person elected or appointed to manage the organization’s daily operations. An officer that served at any time during the organization’s tax year is deemed a current officer. The officers of an organization are determined by reference to its organizing document, bylaws, or resolutions of its governing body, or as otherwise designated consistent with state law, but, at a minimum, include those officers required by applicable state law. Officers can include a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and, in some cases, a Board Chair. In addition, for purposes of Form 990, including Part VII, Section A, and Schedule J (Form 990), treat as an officer the following persons, regardless of their titles. Also explain on Schedule O (Form 990) if the organization didn’t make publicly available upon request any of Forms 1023, 1023-EZ, 1024, 1024-A, 990, or 990-T that are subject to public inspection requirements.

  • Because Form 990-EZ is a publicly disclosable document, any information entered in this block will be publicly disclosed (see Appendix D).
  • Answer “Yes” if the organization checked “Yes” on line 3a and filed Form 990-T by the time this Form 990 is filed.
  • A candidate is one who offers himself or herself or is proposed by others for public office.
  • Enter the payments made by the organization to provide benefits to members (such as payments made by an organization exempt under section 501(c)(8), 501(c)(9), or 501(c)(17) to obtain insurance benefits for members, or patronage dividends paid by section 501(c)(12) organizations to their members).
  • All features, services, support, prices, offers, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

thoughts on “A Beginner’s Guide to Filing a Form 990 for Your Nonprofit Organization”

Report on line 11g payments to payroll agents, common paymasters, and other third parties for services provided by those third parties to the filing organization. Report on lines 5–10, as appropriate, payments that reimburse third parties for compensation to the organization’s officers, directors, trustees, key employees, or other employees. Report payments to contractors for information technology services on line 14, rather than on line 11g. Enter on lines 11a through 11g amounts for services provided by independent contractors for management, legal, accounting, lobbying, professional fundraising services, investment management, and other services, respectively.


A subordinate organization may choose to file a separate annual information return instead of being included in the group return. For example, an organization that reports contributions net of related fundraising expenses can be subject to this penalty. Form 990-BL, Information and Initial Excise Tax Return for Black Lung Benefit Trusts and Certain Related Persons, has been a historical form since tax year 2021.

If an organization was a controlled entity of the filing organization under section 512(b)(13) during the tax year, the filing organization must answer “Yes” on line 35a. Use Schedule I (Form 990) to report amounts over $5,000 paid by the black lung trust to or for the benefit of miners or their beneficiaries other than amounts included on line 21. Such payments could include direct payment of medical bills, etc., authorized by the Act and accident and health benefits for retired miners and their spouses and dependents.

Why Budgeting Is Important For Nonprofits?

For instance, answer “No” if the organization made a $4,000 grant to each of two domestic organizations and no other grants. Don’t report grants or other assistance provided to domestic organizations or domestic governments for the purpose of providing grants or other assistance to designated foreign organizations or foreign individuals. Examples of other similar funds or accounts include, but aren’t limited to, the types of funds or accounts described as exceptions to the Glossary definition of a donor advised fund. Enter a telephone number of the organization that members of the public and government personnel can use during normal business hours to obtain information about the organization’s finances and activities. If the organization doesn’t have a telephone number, enter the telephone number of an organization official who can provide such information.

what is a 990 form

Understand What a 990 Form Is For Smooth Nonprofit Operations and Greater Transparency

Organizations that file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ use this schedule to provide required information about public charity status and public support. The 990-PF is filed by all 501(c)(3) private foundations and 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable trusts. Completing a 990 form for your tax-exempt organization may initially seem like yet another task to pile onto your already busy staff.

  • On the last line of Part II, check “Yes” if the IRS can contact the paid preparer who signed the return to discuss the return.
  • In such cases, the organization must check the “Application pending” checkbox in Item B of the Form 990 or 990-EZ header (whether or not a Form 1023, 1023-EZ, 1024, or 1024-A has been filed) to indicate that Form 990 or 990-EZ is being filed in the belief that the organization is exempt under section 501(a).
  • For example, churches and some religious organizations don’t need to fill out this form.
  • Don’t report on line 5 or 6 (a) pledges or grants receivable, which are to be reported on line 3; or (b) receivables that are excepted from reporting on Schedule L (Form 990), Part II (except for excess benefit transactions involving receivables).
  • As a general rule, in the case of a nonfixed payment, no rebuttable presumption arises until the exact amount of the payment is determined, or a fixed formula for calculating the payment is specified, and the three requirements creating the presumption have been satisfied.

For instance, a bank or trust company serving as the trustee of a trust is an institutional trustee. An annual accounting period ending on the last day of a month other than December. An organization’s statements of revenue and expenses and balance sheet, or similar statements prepared regarding the financial operations of the organization. An endowment fund created by a donor stipulation (donors include other types of contributors, including makers of certain grants) requiring investment of the gift in perpetuity or for a specified term. Some donors or laws may require that a portion of income, gains, or both be added to the gift and invested subject to similar restrictions. Include autographs, sports memorabilia, dolls, stamps, coins, books (other than books and publications reported on line 4 of Schedule M (Form 990)), gems, and jewelry (other than costume jewelry reportable on line 5 of Schedule M (Form 990)).

Organizations that must file Form 990

what is a 990 form

By detailing the organization’s programs, sources of revenue, and sustainability measures, Form 990 serves as a valuable tool for accountability. Nonprofit organizations play a huge role https://centraltribune.com/navigating-financial-growth-leveraging-bookkeeping-and-accounting-services-for-startups/ in our communities, but how they report their finances and activities can seem like a mystery. It’s a public document that nonprofits file each year, giving us a peek into their world.

A section 501(c)(3) organization will lose its tax-exempt status if it engages in political activity. An organization filing Form 990-EZ need not complete Schedule N (Form 990), Part II, for a transaction that isn’t a significant disposition of net assets. Describe significant changes on Schedule O (Form 990), but don’t attach a copy of the amendments or amended document to Form 990-EZ (or recite the entire amended document verbatim), unless such amended documents reflect a change in the organization’s name. See the instructions for Item B, earlier, regarding attachments required in the event of a change in the organization’s name; these attachments must be conformed copies of the original documents. If more space is needed to enter additional persons, use as many duplicates of the Part IV table as are needed.

Accordingly, it is important that each organization consider the governance policies and practices that are most appropriate for that organization in assuring sound operations and compliance with tax law. For more governance information relating to charities, go to IRS.gov/Charities and click on Lifecycle of an Exempt Organization. The statement must be in an easily recognizable format whether the solicitation is made in written or printed form, by television or radio, or by telephone. All organizations must answer Navigating Financial Growth: Leveraging Bookkeeping and Accounting Services for Startups this question, even if they aren’t subject to a prohibition against political campaign activities. Answer “Yes” whether the activity was conducted directly or indirectly through a disregarded entity or a joint venture or other arrangement treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes and in which the organization is an owner. Tax-exempt organizations, nonexempt charitable trusts, and section 527 political organizations file Form 990-EZ to provide the IRS with the information required by section 6033.