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FAQs - Form 990

Here are some common questions you may have about Form 990

What is Form 990?

IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax is an information return filed annually by tax-exempt organizations with the IRS to provide financial and operational details about their activities.

When is Form 990 due?

The due date to file IRS Form 990 is generally on the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of an organization's fiscal year. For calendar year organizations, the due date is May 15th.

Which Form 990 must I file?

The gross receipt of your tax-exempt organization determines which Form 990 you must file.
  • File Form 990-N (e-Postcard) if your organization's gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less.
  • File Form 990-EZ if your organization's gross receipts are less than $200,000 and total assets are less than $500,000.
  • File Form 990 if your organization's gross receipts are $200,000 or more, or its total assets are $500,000 or more at the end of the tax year.
  • Form 990-PF - Private foundations, regardless of their financial size, must file Form 990-PF to report their financial activities and grant-making activities.

Is there a penalty for not filing Form 990?

Yes. An exempt organization that files Form 990 after the deadline and doesn't provide any reasonable cause for late filing will be imposed a penalty by the IRS.

A penalty of $20 a day, not to exceed the lesser of $11,000 or 5% of the gross receipts of the organization for the year, can be charged when a return is filed late unless the organization provides an attachment with an explanation that the late filing was due to reasonable cause.

Organizations with annual gross receipts exceeding $1,129,000 are subject to a penalty of $110 for each day failure continues (with a maximum penalty for any one return of $56,000). The penalty applies on each day after the due date that the return isn't filed.

Is Form 990 subject to public inspection and disclosure?

Yes, Form 990 is a public document that is subject to public inspection and disclosure. Anyone can request a copy from the IRS or access it through various online databases, such as Guidestar or the organization's website.

Additionally, the IRS makes these forms available to the public on its website.

What is unrelated business income?

An unrelated business gross income is an income received by an exempt organization through activities unrelated to scientific, educational, charitable, or any other tax-exempt purposes.

How can I know my organization's exempt status?

To know about your organization's tax-exempt status, use the Tax Exempt Organization Search of the IRS. It's an IRS tool where users can search and obtain information about an exempt organization's federal tax status and filings.

What is the purpose of Schedule A in Form 990?

Schedule A, Public Charity Status and Public Support is to provide the IRS with required information about public charity status and public support and to determine whether the exempt organization qualifies as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

I need to amend my Form 990. What to do?

To amend your organization's previously filed 990 return, file a new return providing all the information and not just the new or corrected information. Also, check the “Amended return” box in Item B indicating you're filing an amended return.

You can amend all the information in your original Form 990 return except the organization's EIN.

What to do if I can't meet my 990 deadline?

If you couldn't file your 990 on or before the deadline, simply file Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return, and obtain an automatic six-month extension to file your 990 return.

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