5 Important Facts About the 990 Tax Form
It’s that time of year again. Everyone is gathering their financial documents and preparing for their annual filing with the IRS.
If you’re running a tax-exempt organization, the 990 tax form should be in that mix. Here are five of the most important things you should know about the Form 990.
What is a Form 990?
The non profit version of a corporate tax return, IRS Form 990 is the document that certain tax-exempt organizations must file each year with the IRS. The 990 enables regulators, funders, journalists, and others to measure a nonprofit’s performance.
Who Must File Form 990?
Schools, health and welfare organizations, business leagues, civic associations, museums, private foundations, and a myriad other nonprofit organizations exempt from federal income tax must file this form annually.
Private foundations file Form 990-PF. Larger nonprofits with gross receipts of more than $50,000 must file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ. Smaller nonprofits with gross receipts of less than $50,000 must file Form 990-N.
Who Doesn’t Have to File Form 990?
Most churches or faith-based organizations, state institutions, and non profit subsidiaries are a few of the organizations that are not required to file. For more information, see the IRS guidelines.
When Must Form 990 Be Filed?
You must file your 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF by the 15th day of the 5th month after your accounting period ends. Therefore, if your fiscal year ends on December 31, the 990 is due on May 15 of the following year.
What is the Most Common 990 Mistake?
The most common mistake on Form 990 is failing to complete Schedule A, the section of the form that requires charities and certain types of charitable trusts to list the salaries and benefits awarded to top officials and to top-paid independent contractors. This part of the form also focuses on advocacy activity and contains additional questions not covered on the Form 990 itself.