For many tax-exempt organizations, this is the most dreaded time of year. The long, mind-numbing hours spent grueling over IRS Forms. As you check, recheck, and then triple check making sure all of your information is correct before filing. You take pride in your nonprofits transparency and want that to be known to the general public. Buth the paperwork. You have a list of plans for your organization and the last thing you want to do is decipher IRS terminology (seems like another language altogether).
But filing your IRS Form 990 doesn’t have to be that bad if you know what information you need and where to go to file. Here is everything you need to know about IRS Form 990, so you can get back to helping your cause.
Everything You Need To Know About IRS Form 990
If you are like any good red-blooded American, the voice in the back of your head is asking “Do I really have to do this?” Short answer: Yup! The fact of the matter is that all tax-exempt organizations with 501(c)(3) status are required to file an IRS Form 990 annually. This is regardless of the amount of donations you receive. If you are unsure about your filing requirement, the Internal Revenue Service offers a list of qualifications if you would like to double check before going forward.
Don’t worry I’ll wait…….. So yeah you need to file, right? No worries, thousands of organizations around the country need to file annually, and your public will thank you for the openness.
What Type of Form 990 Variation Do I File?
While the names might seem confusing, they are fairly straightforward.
The one and only, the original Form 990. If your tax-exempt organization’s gross receipts are greater than $200,000 and your total assets (art, historical pieces, etc.) are greater than $500,000 then this is the form you are searching for.
If your charitable organization’s gross receipts were less than $200,000, and your total assets are less than $500,000 you will need to file Form 990-EZ.
If your organization’s gross receipts for the previous fiscal year was less than $50,000, then this form is for you (Form 990N). This one is actually very different from the other types and is referred to as an e-Postcard.
Before You Start Filing
Before you go charging in make sure you have all of the important information you will need to file. This will include the following information:
- EIN (Employer Identification Number)
- Tax Period
- GEN (Group Exemption Number)
- You will also need information to fill out any required schedules for your organization
990 Schedule A:
Every tax-exempt organization needs to file 990 Schedule A. This will tell the IRS more about what type of nonprofit you are, like government, education, environmental, or safety organization. You will also include information about your public support. So this is where you will include information about any gifts or grants you have received in the past year and where they came from.
990 Schedule B:
Form 990 Schedule B is based on your contributors (or donors). The rule of thumb is if you receive more than $5,000 from any single donor you are required to file 990 Schedule B.
While these are the most popular schedules, there are 14 other that you could be required to file. These are all specific to the nonprofit type. For the full list of 990 Schedules and explanations click here to visit the IRS website.
When Is The 990 Due Date?
Well, I am glad you asked. Your IRS Form 990 deadline is the 15th day of the 5th month after your tax year ends. So if your tax-exempt organization runs on a typical fiscal year, your deadline is May 15th!
Form 990 Deadline:
May 15th, 2018
IRS 990 Filing For Nonprofits
Now that you have all the information you need, it is finally time to fill out the form. While you could always go the paper filing route, I do not recommend it for several reasons. But the primary concern is that it takes a lot more time to file on paper, and you run the possibility of making mistakes.
You could always file using an IRS-authorized e-file provider like our sister product ExpressTaxExempt. On top of being approved and trusted by the IRS, they are also partnered with GuideStar. So when you file your IRS Form 990 with ExpressTaxExempt, they will immediately send your information to GuideStar. Instead of waiting months for your form to be processed and then transmitted, GuideStar will immediately publish your information once approved.
But wait there’s more! Their step-by-step interview-style process is equipped with built-in audits to ensure error-free filing. And ExpressTaxExempt will automatically include any schedules that are required for filing. Say goodbye to long, mind-numbing hours it used to take to file your IRS Form 990 and say hello to your new friend, ExpressTaxExempt.