Time to talk taxes. Even though you have successfully become a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, you still need to file taxes at the end of the year just like any other organization. However, for nonprofits, filing taxes means filing your annual 990 form.
Types of 990 Forms
There are four different 990 forms you can file. The criteria for filing the different 990 forms depends on your financials, and if you are classified as a private foundation or public organization. Filing your 990 is the predominant tool the IRS uses to gather information on nonprofits, and to verify that your organization is remaining compliant. If you fail to file your 990 taxes for three consecutive years, then the IRS automatically revokes your 501(c)(3) tax-exemption status.
You might be thinking “if there are four different 990 forms, how am I supposed to know which form my organization needs to file?!”
Not to worry! We have broken down each form, and the requirements and stipulations that applies to each, so determining which form is right for your organization will be easy.
The 990-N form, also known as the 990-N e-Postcard, is for nonprofit organizations whose annual gross receipts are less than $50,000. If your organization’s gross receipts fluctuate year-to-year but average at $50,000 or less in the previous three years, then you will file this form. This is a short, eight question form that is submitted electronically with the IRS.
The 990-EZ form may be filed by nonprofit organizations whose annual gross receipts are less than $200,000 and have total assets that are less than $500,000. This is a 4-page form that needs to be completed and submitted by mail to the Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center. If your organization does meet these requirements, you also have the option to file the full 990 form if you so choose.
Full 990 Form
The 990 form is required for nonprofit organizations whose annual gross receipts are greater than or equal to $200,000; or they have total assets that are greater than or equal to $500,000. This 990 form is more intensive and requires that you complete the entire twelve page form, and submit it by mail to the Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center.
The 990-PF is required for all private foundations, regardless of financials and assets. This form is similar to the regular 990 form. It is more intensive than the e-Postcard and 990-EZ, requiring your foundation to complete the 13 page form, before sending it by mail to the Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center.
Hopefully this has been helpful for you in determining which 990 form your organization should file. Also, a friendly reminder: if your organization’s tax year ends in December, then you need to file your 990 form by May 15th every year!