An Overview of IRS Tax Form 990

It is mandatory for many tax-exempt units and organizations to file the IRS tax form 990 annually. This form is also called IRS 990 e postcard and it is basically an informational tax form. To be brief, this form offers the IRS a complete overview of the activities of an organization along with the detailed governance and financial information about the organization. This form also includes a specific section where the organization details or outlines its accomplishments in the last year for justifying the maintenance of its tax-exempt status. The IRS collects this information for making sure that the organizations continue qualifying for their tax exemption post the status is granted.

Organizations that Need to File Tax Form 990

The organizations that need to file tax form 990 are the tax-exempt organizations having gross receipts of minimum $200,000 or assets with a worth of minimum $500,000. These organizations need to file the IRS tax form 990 annually without fail. Certain organizations like religious organizations, churches and political organizations are exempted from filing IRS 990e postcard on an annual basis.

Information Provided in the Form

Form 990 needs a particular organization to put in the details of its significant activities and its main mission or objective. It is also necessary for the organization to disclose all important financial details regarding expenses, liabilities, assets and revenues. The Internal revenue Service makes it a point to ensure that a particular organization possesses the worth to maintain its tax-exempt status. This is the reason why the IRS requires complete details on the different activities or the products and services provided by an organization. An important section of form 990 covers information on the governance of the organization and specifically asks for the names of the directors, officers, normal employees and the highly remunerated employees of the organization. These are officials involved in the management team of the organization.

Attachments to the Form

Part IV of form 990 offers detailed checklist of various supporting documents which might be needed as per the answers provided to the list of different questions. Certain tax-exempt organizations need to file Schedule B or Schedule of Contributors listing the contributions that it receives annually. Organizations might also complete Schedule C reporting political activities of the organization. There are other documents including Schedule D for providing detailed financial statements, Schedule F for reporting the level of activity of the organization outside US and Schedule G describing the fundraising activities of the organization.

Alternatives that can be Used in Place of Form 990

Form 990EZ which is the short form of the form 990 version can be used by tax-exempt units with gross receipts of $200,000 or less. Private foundations need to file form 990PF and black lung trusts need to file form 990 BL.



IRS Tax Form 990 FAQs

The IRS has various tax forms for non-profit organizations which can be quite confusing. Let’s try to demystify the 990 Tax form find out what it entails. 

The form 990 is acts as a reporting return for the Internal Revenue Services for non-profit organizations that are tax exempt by law. It also includes all important information like the programs, finances and mission of the organization. The newly introduced N form allows the IRS to closely audit all the organizations that are eligible for tax exemption and ensures the organizations adhere to all the rules and regulations laid out by the government. 

Do I need to pay to get the 990 forms?

No, the IRS tax form 990 is available completely free of charge across various websites. You do not need to pay anything to get the tax forms but, you do need to create a free account to access the forms for free.

I do not see my organization listed, what should I do?

If you find out that your organization is not listed for filing the IRS Tax form 990 on the “Forms 990 & Docs” page on the report page of any nonprofit organization, there may be several reasons behind it including: 

• The organization might not need to file the tax form

• The organization is new and has not filed yet

• The organization is yet to file for the current year

Which organizations are required to file the form 990?

The IRS tax form 990 or the IRS 990 E postcard is required to be filed by organizations that have been declared exempt by the Internal Revenue Services. All organizations which have an accumulated earning of less than $50,000 in any financial year are exempt from tax and need to file the form to report their earnings for the current financial year. However churches and other state institutions are not required to file the tax form. 

Which organizations are not required to file the Form 990?

Organizations that have not been declared as tax exempt by the IRS and faith based organizations are not required to file the Tax form 990. Subsidiary organizations are also not included even if they work as a nonprofit concern and such institutions get grouped with their parent companies. 

What are the deadlines for filing the form?

The IRS 990 E Postcard can have varying filing dates. The date is determined by the ending date of any organization’s fiscal year and there are no fixed dates. All organizations need to file the tax form by the 15th day of the 5th month from the last date of any fiscal year. Organizations who are also required to file the 990 EZ or the 990 PF can get 90 day extension periods if they require.


Tips to file non-profit tax form 990N

The tax form 990N is meant for tax exempt organizations who need to file the form every year to maintain their tax exemption status by law. The form also outlines the various accomplishments of the organizations. 

IRS tax forms 990N are used to outline the various accomplishments of any organization and also mentions the detailed financial information for its respective financial year. The form 990N also has a section to help justify maintenance of the tax exemption status of any small non-profit organization. The IRS uses the non profit tax forms 990N to ensure that the tax exemption that is granted is given to qualifying organizations only and the form also serves the purpose of letting the IRS know about all the organization’s activities. 

nonprofit tax 990nSrc: Flickr

Organizations that are required to file Form 990N

The Form 990N is completely online based and physical copies of the form hold no value. The informational tax form is applicable for most of the tax exempt organizations which have gross receipts exceeding $200,000. Various organizations like political parties, religious organizations and churches are not required to e file form 990N.

Information required to file Form 990N

When you e file form 990N there is a lot of information that is required including the mission of the organization and other activities of significance. The organizations that fall under the filing guidelines are required to disclose financial details completely including the revenues earned and expenses incurred. The assets and liabilities are also mentioned through balance sheets so the IRS can ensure the organizations are worthy of getting tax exemptions. 

Non profit tax forms 990N mostly focus on how any particular organization is governed and also the names of the officers, highly paid employees, directors and other employees who directly manage the organization. Any organization that over compensates any employees may lose the tax exempt status that is provided by the IRS


There are various attachments that are required to be provided along with the supporting documents depending on the answers provided in the tax form. All of the information regarding attachments is present in Part IV of the Form 990N and mentions the uses and benefits of attachments like the Schedule B and Schedule of Contributors. 

In some cases a Schedule C may also be required to the political activities of the organizations are reported. While a Schedule D is provided to inform the IRS the status of their financial condition through financial statements. A schedule F may be used to report the level of activity of the organization outside the scope of the United States. A schedule G is used to inform the IRS of its fundraising and other financial activities that lead to revenue generation outside the scope of normal business activities. 


How The 990N Postcard Filing Exempt You From Paying Taxes?

The ‘e-postcard’ is a means of being tax exempt for all small non-profit organizations. With the tax exemption raised from $25,000 to $50,000 the IRS 990N form can benefit non-profit organizations greatly. 

The ‘e-Postcard’ that is often talked about refers to the IRS 990-N form for tax exemption purposes for small non-profit organizations. Up until the year 2007 all small non-profit organizations did not have to file taxes if their annual receipts were below $25,000. This was amended with the introduction of the e postcard form 990-n in 2008 and the cap was raised to $50,000 specifically for small nonprofit organizations. The ruling was passed by the Congress after countless small organizations were not keeping their IRS records up to date. This move encouraged the 990N Postcard filing of the tax forms and also started helping the IRS keep a track of all the non-profit organizations’ business dealings and ensure their database stays updated at all times.

Who is required to file the Tax form 990N?

All nonprofit organizations whose yearly gross receipts are below $50,000 on an average basis in the previous three tax years, including the year for which the tax is filedare required to file the e postcard form 990-N. 

Filing the form 990N

990N postcard filing is a simple process but it requires a lot of information. The IRS does not consider the postcard to be a tax return technically but it is one of the essential IRS forms for getting a tax exemption status. The filing process ideally takes less than 15 minutes if you have a decent internet connection and you do not have the option to pay it through post as physical copies of the IRS form 990N are not accepted. This is why the form is known as the ‘e-Postcard’ by the IRS. 

What if I do not file the Form 990-N?

The IRS has been cracking down on organizations which have not been filing the Form 990-N in three consecutive years. If you do not file the form for any single year you will receive a reminder notice from the Internal Revenue Services and if you do not comply with them for three years your organization will automatically lose the tax exempt status without any further notice from the Internal Revenue Services. For example if you missed your due date for 2015 on May 15 you will lose your tax exempt status on May 15 2018. You will need to file for the tax exempt status all over again and your organization will need to be bear the brunt of the hefty filing fees and you would also need to file the Form 1023 again.


Drive The Advantage As Given By IRS Of Being Non-Profit For Providing The Noble Services

The great advantage to charities and non-profits that IRS is extending through its forms is to ensure the noble services being rendered to disadvantaged in a sustainable manner. Unlike businesses making profits and who must pay income taxes, charities and non-profits do not have to pay income taxes. Also Non-profits and charities don’t file tax returns like businesses either. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have IRS tax filings to deal with. Subject to some important exceptions, tax-exempt organizations are required to file an annual information return with the IRS. Especially like most non-profits, when their organization uses the calendar year as its tax year, then the return is due on May 15.

IRS through its tax forms of 990 gather the information return that provides the IRS with the detailed financial and other information about  charities and non-profit. The information return through forms of 990 will show the IRS about the non-profit operations in terms of how judicially the money is spent as collected from donors, and whether it is in compliance with the tax laws that govern tax-exempt organizations. These IRS filings are important and always demand the timely e-filings of the information return as it may risk the very existence of the non-profit organization and eventually resulting in losing the tax-exempt status.

There are three different types of non-profit information returns:

• Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations not Required To File Form 990 or 990-EZ

• Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of an Organization Exempt from Income Tax, and

• Form 990, Return of an Organization Exempt from Income Tax.

As shown in the chart below, which form a non-profit must use depends on its gross receipts and, in the case of larger non-profits, the value of its assets. “Gross receipts” means a non-profit’s total income for the tax year from all sources without subtracting any costs or expenses.

Annual Gross Receipts                                                               

Form to File

Gross receipts “normally” $50,000 or less




Gross receipts $50,001 to $199,999


Total assets less than $500,000




Gross receipts $200,000 or more


Gross receipts $200,000 or more





The larger non-profit should normally file the IRS Form 990 must be used by larger non-profits. Form 990 is by far the longest and most complex form, requiring the most disclosure of organization information. Form 990-EZ is a shorter form for medium-sized nonprofits. Form 990-N is for the smallest non-profits—it is nothing more than an electronic postcard with the organization’s address and the name of the principal officer.

Churches and church-related organizations are not required to file annual returns. In addition, a nonprofit that is a subsidiary of another larger nonprofit is exempt from the IRS information filing requirement if the parent nonprofit files a consolidated return for its subordinate organizations, including the particular subsidiary nonprofit. For example, individual Boy Scout troops usually do not file their own information returns—they are covered by the Boy Scout parent organization’s filing on behalf of all its subsidiary organizations.

Obtaining an Extension to File

All nonprofits are allowed one automatic three-month extension of the time to file Form 990 or 990-EZ. Thus, you have as much as seven and one-half months to file either of these forms following the end your tax year. It is very common for non-profits to obtain the automatic extension. To do so, you must file IRS Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return. The IRS will send you a notice that your request is granted. Do not attach Form 8868 to your return when you file it because it will delay IRS processing of your return.

You can get an additional three month extension by filing a second Form 8868, but this extension is not automatic—it is granted only at the IRS’s discretion. Your nonprofit must set forth a good reason for the additional extension in the Form 8868—for example, its financial records were lost or destroyed.

IRS will not provide extension of time for filing Form 990-N as it is just a reporting of fewer details and nothing more than an electronic postcard with the organization’s address and the name of the principal officer.

For effective e-filing of your e-postcard 990-n on time for this tax season please visit the trusted IRS tax partner


Filing Of Form 990n Strengthens The Existence And Integrity Of A Charity As A Veracity Of IRS Legal Adherence

It is indeed a great consideration given by IRS to Charities and non-profits through its law adherence of filing the e-postcard 990-n from time to time on a yearly basis. The non-profits and charities have to show their gross receipts of $50,000 or less as simple tax returns towards e-filing of 990-n through IRS service provider and approved tax partner every 15th of the fifth month and this will strengthen their very existence as non-profits and charities and to prove their worthiness towards the truthful charity service cause.

For this reason, IRS unlike its other forms as applicable for different services was not compulsive on stressing the need for stringent actions on the failing non-profits and charities. So this should be taken up by non-profits as a matter of great favor from IRS for just e-filing 990-n tax returns to show their exact gross receipts.IRS by this good motivational approach wants non-profits and charities to exist and do their real good charity services for which the purpose of e-filing IRS form 990-n through the recommended service provider Etax990n will open up to serve a great social cause.

irs 990n taxSrc: Flickr

The non-profits and charities have to come out with a veracity of their very nature of serving for charity works for the society to which they belong by their sustenance and existence by really reciprocating through timely adherence of IRS law as made towards e-filing the e-postcard 990-n on time every year as prescribed.IRS wants to promote non-profits and charities who have gross receipts $50,000 or less to just e-file this e-postcard 990-n and thereby the tax relief given to them could be best utilized for furthering their charity works for the people.

The failures of not responding to e-file 990-n for consecutive 3 years attracts IRS automatic revocation law which is though automatic but it is structured only to imbibe discipline and integrity in so many non-profits and charities who by their sheer intentional service approach of coming out and starting a charity work should exist and flourish through overcoming their shortcomings.

E-file 990-n the e-postcard the easiest way through IRS approved tax partner


Do Not Postpone The Annually Required E-Filing Of IRS E-Postcard 990-N As It May Lead IRS To Prepone The Automatic Withdrawal Of Your Tax-Exempt Status!

The regular annual filing of e-postcard helps small non-profits and charitable organizations to sustain with their tax-exempt status as considered by IRS which means they can just file e-postcard 990-n to show their gross receipts through the contributions accepted from different donors and other sources

The small charitable and non-profit organizations should do the regular annual electronic filing of the IRS e-post card 990-n when their gross receipts are usually $50,000 or less as per the instructions of Federal Government IRS. The regular annual filing of e-postcard helps small non-profits and charitable organizations to sustain with their tax-exempt status as considered by IRS which means they can just file e-postcard 990-n to show their gross receipts through the contributions accepted from different donors and other sources, here-in the small non-profits should understand that they do not have to pay taxes for the revenues received and used for their charity purpose which is as a privilege as borne out of the section 501(C)(3) as given to them by IRS.

irs tax filing 990nCreative Commons licensed - Flickr (donkeyhotey)

Small non-profits and charities should not mis-handle this important privilege by not filing 990-n e-postcard annually will only defeat the essential purpose of allowing the small charities to help the communities and societies as structured by IRS through the federal government. Moreover this failure of not filing the e-postcard in a year will only pile up and add to the miseries of cascading and burdened accounting of the total receipts as donations towards their organizations and further making it difficult to comply with the regular e-filing of e-postcard 990-n annually for the forthcoming and following years. 

So this very reason may lead the small non-profits and charities to fail the e-filing of 990-n e-postcard beyond even up to three years. Therefore this likelihood of being a prey as non-compliant may force small non-profits to postpone of e-filing 990-n against the IRS considerate ruling on annual filing of e-postcard may only lead IRS to prepone the automatic withdrawal of the tax-exempt status to such failing small non-profits and charities.

Small non-profits and charities and who are doing a great service to different sections of people are all required to e-file their 990-n to show cause for their gross receipts in a year through regular annual filing of IRS e-postcard through the approved and certified tax partner by 15th day of the 5th month every year as based on ones’ tax year.

Do not postpone your e-file of 990-n and do not make IRS prepone the automatic withdrawal of your tax exempt status.


Are You Also The One In Total Of 275,000 Non-Profits Who Lost Their Tax-Exempt Status?

IRS in a statement in June 8th 2011 and as well as updated and posted on April 14th 2014 on their website points out that approximately more than 275,000 non-profits have lost their tax-exempt cases because of non-compliance with the rule of IRS for not filing annual tax returns for consecutive three years. Though this number is only an approximation as released and can find in IRS website under separate lists of affected organizations of each state in USA, the failing small non-profits who must file the annual electronic notice 990-n the e-postcard are also among the auto-revocation list of IRS.

While Section 6033(a) of the Tax Code requires most tax-exempt organizations to file annual information returns, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 imposed a filing requirement on small organizations for the first time in 2007.However IRS campaign for promoting the importance of filing the annual electronic notice 990-n for small non-profits and charitable organizations was as though unheard and unaware and so the section 6033(j) of IRC is therefore imposing the withdrawal of tax-exemption for these non-profits and charitable organizations.

What happens when non-profits lose their tax-exempt status due to non-filing annual tax returns 990-n the e-postcard for consecutive three years? Yes it’s obvious that they lose the privilege of collecting the tax-deductible charitable contributions from donors and also they are forced to file their annual tax returns under corporate income tax law as applicable and which will take away their very texture of being a charitable organization and put them with the burden of losses through taxes that a corporate may face with IRS.

But IRS wholeheartedly helps the small non-profits and charitable organizations with a solid solution that are undergoing the misery of tax burden and automatic revocation of tax-exempt status due to the failure of not filing the annual electronic notice 990-n the e-postcard for consecutive three years. Now small non-profits and charitable organizations who are supposedly fail to file the annual electronic notice 990-n for consecutive three years now can file an application form 1023 for tax-exemption purpose requesting for re-instatement to continue as tax-exempt.IRS is very considerate for charging them with $100 for reinstatement instead of usual fees normally charged as $400 or $850 depending on the case that varies.

A genuine reasonable cause explanation by these non-profits and charitable organizations with a kind of actual happenings on why they failed to fail the annual electronic notice 990-n will also make IRS to re-consider the decision towards reinstating them back to the normal course of being a tax-exempt. This shows the heart of IRS as federal structure as balanced with a good intention to help the genuine charities doing the services for people of states and for nation cause.

Now small non-profits and charities have to realize their responsibilities as good social organizations doing good services should avoid the unnecessary complications between the process of automatic revocations and re-instatements by just delivering their nation’s duty by filing the annual electronic notice 990-n by 15th day of the 5th month (May15th 2014) based on their annual close of their income and expenditures accounts as on December 31st 2013.

IRS has approved and certified as a service partner for easy filing of the simple e-postcard 990-n for small non-profits and charities concerned.

Register Now and file your Form 990N tax



Why Small Exempt Organizations Must File Annual Electronic Notice IRS 990-N?

IRS has given the privilege to small non-profit exempt organizations whose annual income normally is $50,000 or less to file the annual electronic notice called e-postcard the 990-n and not the full form 990 or 990-EZ because they are small and doing a service to society with less contributions in receivables of kind and money from donors and so it is naturally impracticable for them to maintain an office administration expenses. So IRS is helping the small tax-exempts as non-profits and charities to lessen their burden on their expenditures towards administration cost and can file form 990-n notice comfortably every year by 15th day of 5th month showing their income and expenditure tax filing and there is no tax levy burden on them.

Filing annual electronic notice the e-postcard is very easy for small exempt organizations by registering with IRS certified partner by answering a few simple questions.

What if small exempt organization miss tax filing 990-n for a year say 2011 and file only for 2012, then IRS will send notices to exempt organization for reminding on the missed out filing of the year 2011 and IRS will persist on asking queries through notices that why one has failed to file the 2011 annual electronic notice 990-n and when continually small exempt organization fails even to respond answering queries of IRS, and more-over when they do not file 990-n consecutively for 3 annual years, they may have to face an automatic revocation of their tax exempt status and more sooner will be on the IRS list of automatic revocation. 

IRS filingSRC: Flickr

So it is always better to respond and call on the queries to provide reasonable answers to IRS and there is no tax penalties applied here by IRS but the very danger of losing the status of being tax-exempt.

Okay then how small tax exempt organization will manage the situation for the missed out year 2011 tax return say 12/31/2011 filing and how they can file the overdue annual electronic notice 990-n for 2011.This facility for filing the missed out year 2011 tax-filing for small exempt organization is not possible with IRS website but however IRS may direct these failing candidates to IRS certified web-partners’ website like and where-in the small exempt organization must register to follow-up the guidelines of IRS to go ahead with late tax return filing of 2011 for the annual electronic notice 990-n the e-postcard by paying a reasonable transmission fee.

It is always advisable for tax-exempt non-profit organization to file annual electronic notice the 990-n every year by 15th day of 5th month to avoid revocation of tax-exempt through IRS certified and approved partner 

Register Now and file your Form 990N tax


Small Charity Organizations May Be Tax Exempted But Not Exempted From Filing Returns IRS 990-N E-Postcard

In an accounting year, the tax year should end for any small tax-exempt organization to be able to file the information returns through e-postcard IRS 990-N.They must file IRS 990-n on or before 15th day of 5th month (MAY 15th 2014), say when the tax year ends as December 31st 2013 for a small tax-exempt organization.

Small charitable organizations qualify under section 501 (C)(3) of Internal Revenue Code are considered as small tax exempt organizations provided that such entities qualifying for this privilege from IRS should not operate on business motive in making a profit and share the benefit with the shareholders or partners or an individual. These tax-exempts should not forcefully or voluntarily engage to create some favorable rulings of their own for any business interest or in any circumstances show as an active organization promoting any campaign for or against political parties with a kind of giving deceptive impression like that it is working for a business purpose. But the small tax-exempt charitable organizations following the rules of section 501 (c) (3) other than testing for public safety organizations are qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions from donors as per the IRC section 170.

These qualified small tax-exempt organizations must e-file 990-n e-postcard through IRS certified partner when their annual gross receivables are consistently $50,000 or less.

If such tax-exempt organizations are not filing their tax information returns by the due date every year which is 15th day of 5th month of the organization’s close of tax year, IRS will not penalize the tax-exempts but send reminder notice to them asking them to file information returns on time but if this trend of not filing tax information returns through e-postcard 990-n continues for three consecutive years then IRS will automatically revoke the tax-exempt status of these small tax-exempt charitable organizations but IRS will wait to confirm the revoking of tax-exempt status of the organizations till the filing due date of the third year.

In an accounting year, the tax year should end for any small tax-exempt organization to be able to file the information returns through e-postcard IRS 990-N.They must file IRS 990-n on or before 15th day of 5th month (MAY 15th 2014), say when the tax year ends as December 31st 2013 for a small tax-exempt organization. But filing 990-n after May 15th 2014 is considered as late filing and similarly filing 990-n before December 31st 2013 will make IRS send a message advising the small tax-exempt organization that the tax year has not ended.

990n tax filing

Src: Flickr

Certain important details of small tax-exempt organizations need to be provided for e-filing 990-n IRS e-postcard and they are as follows -

 Employer Identification Number also known as TIN

 Tax Year  

 Legal Organization name and address for mailing

 Any other name of Organization if applicable

 Name and address of the responsible officer

 Web site address if available

 Confirmation on annual gross receipts normally $50,000 or less

 A statement required In case of organization closing down

Now with all these details e-file IRS form 990-n e-postcard on or before 15th May 2015 with the most reliable and trusted IRS certified partner


Register Now and file your Form 990N tax


Etax990n Non Profit Tax Filing

This blog is a part of which is an IRS authorized tax e-file services provided by Yakshna solutions inc, which is a leading provider in the tax industry.

Etax990n is IRS Approved E-file Provider for Form 990n. Form 990n e-postcard is used by exempt organizations to keep their tax exempt status by filing it. Etax990n offers electronic filing of 990n form in an easy and effective way to with phone/chat/email

form 990n filing

REGISTER HERE and File your Non Profit Tax TODAY!

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