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About IRS Form 990

What You Need To Know About IRS Form 990 and Form 990-N

While nonprofits with 501(c)(3) tax exemption status might not pay federal taxes, they still have to file their nonprofit’s IRS Tax Form 990 or Form 990-N for nonprofit organizations. Filing this form ensures that nonprofits conduct their charity business in a way that complies with their public nonprofit responsibilities. In addition, filing the IRS 990 Form provides the IRS with an overview of your activities throughout the last fiscal year. Filings IRS Form 990 also provides transparency to current and potential donors, as IRS Form 990o helps donors understand how your nonprofit organization operates and is managed.

IRS 990 Filing Options

There are five versions of the IRS Nonprofit Form 990: 

  • 990-N: Small 501(c)(3) organizations with gross receipts that are normally less than $50,000.
  • 990-EZ:  Gross receipts between $50,000 and $199,999, and total assets under $500,000
  • 990 long-form: Gross receipts of $200,000 and above, or with assets over $500,000
  • 990-PF: All private foundations, regardless of income. 
  • Form 990-T: Organizations with unrelated business income. eg., Selling food and beverages, revenue for charging for parking use of the facility, or advertising in club newsletters or other publications

Our tax compliance team will help you determine which Nonprofit Form 990 is appropriate for your nonprofit’s filing. These forms often require more information than a corporate tax return. The IRS ensures strict scrutiny in governance, structure, procedures, programs, and compliance.

If you have any inquiries about our Form 990 services, we’re here to help! Contact our professional team at BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions to discuss your IRS Form 990-N filing requirements for this tax year. 

We can also help you organize and maintain your organization’s accounting records on an ongoing basis so we can get the details needed to complete the annual IRS Nonprofit Form 990. Whether you’re a private foundation or a charity-focused business with taxable income, we’re ready to help you prepare your documents professionally and ensure your IRS Form 990-N filing requirements are completed correctly.


Ready to get started on your Form 990? Start with our 990-evaluation tool.

If you’d like to speak to a 990 consultant, please fill out the form below to be assigned a dedicated representative and to book time directly with them.

Schedule a complimentary 30 minute consultation to discuss you needs.

Frequently Asked Form 990 Questions

A. Form 990 is an annual reporting return that certain federally tax-exempt organizations must file with the IRS. It provides information on the organization’s mission, programs, and finances.

  • The most common error is forgetting or not knowing to file the IRS Form 990. Failing to complete the 990 for three consecutive years can result in losing 501(C)(3) status.
  • Incomplete 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.
  • Failing to note primary exempt mission as required in the statement of program accomplishments.
  • Arithmetic errors account for about 20% of all 990 tax returns.
  • Not having the signature of any of the organization’s officers.
  • Failure to attach required supporting schedules.
  • Not listing the correct tax year.

There is no one date on which all Forms 990 must be submitted to the IRS. Instead, a nonprofit’s filing date is determined by the end of its fiscal year (the 12-month period for which the organization plans the use of its funds). Your Nonprofit Form 990 and IRS Form 990-N filing requirements are due by the 15th day of the 5th-month after the end of the fiscal year. For example, if the organization’s fiscal year ends on December 31, these are the filing and extension dates:

Form 990 due dates for nonprofit organizations

A. Most federally tax-exempt organizations, except churches (unless they claim unrelated business income) and state institutions. Browse the IRS guidelines or chat with us to learn more.

A. IRS Publication 557 – Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization, establishes an 85% of the gross income requirement. This requirement is that the exempt organization must “. . . receive 85% or more of their gross income from their members for the sole purpose of meeting losses and expenses.” This 85% rule applies to ALL exempt organizations, not just 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations.

A. Yes. An exempt organization must establish an accounting system capable of tracking the source of income and payment of that income. The system should also identify those expenses directly connected to the production of income by source.

The tax rates are the same as those that apply to regular corporations on Form 1120. However, an exempt association files Form 990-T to report unrelated business taxable income.

Most associations, simply by the nature of their operations, will not pay any significant income tax. This is because there is usually no net taxable income resulting from unrelated business activities after allocating expenses. Learn more about unrelated business income tax (UBIT) and your nonprofit when you speak with one of our nonprofit specialists.