Organizations that are required to file Form 990:

  • Private foundations file Form 990-PF.
  • Larger nonprofits that have gross receipts of more than $50,000 file Form 990 or 990-EZ.
  • Small nonprofits with gross receipts of $50,000 or less must file the 990-N (e-Postcard) in order to maintain their exempt status.
  • Organizations that are tax-exempt under Sections 501(c), 527, or 4947(a)(1) of the U.S. tax code, and that don’t fall into the exemptions listed below.

Organizations which are exempt from filing any Form 990:

  • Churches and most faith-based organizations such as religious schools, missions or missionary organizations.
  • Subsidiaries of other nonprofits, where there may be a group return filed by the parent group.
  • Nonprofits not in the system yet. If you are an incorporated nonprofit or an unincorporated nonprofit in your state but don’t plan to apply to the IRS for exemption from federal income tax, you don’t have to file a Form 990.
  • State institutions. Some state institutions are exempt because they provide essential services (a university is an example).
  • Government corporations.

The deadline for filing a Form 990:

  • 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.
  • Each filing organization is required to file “by the 15th day of the 5th month after” its fiscal year ends.
  • Organizations that file Form 990-EZ, 990, or 990-PF can also receive up to two 90-day extensions of time to file.