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What Nonprofits Need to Know About Form 990

what is a form 990

Enter in the line 8a box the gross income from fundraising events, not including the amount of contributions from fundraising events reported on line 1c. If the sum of the amounts reported on line 1c and the line 8a box exceeds $15,000, then the organization must answer “Yes” on Part IV, line 18, and complete Schedule G (Form 990), Part II. If gaming Nonprofit Accounting: A Guide to Basics and Best Practices is conducted at a fundraising event, the income and expenses must be allocated between the gaming and the fundraising event on Form 990, Part VIII; report all income from gaming on line 9a. If the organization files Form 990 based on a fiscal year, use the fiscal year to determine the organization’s “current” officers, directors, and trustees.

what is a form 990

If the organization answers “No,” but has prepared, for the year for which it is completing this return, a financial statement that wasn’t audited, the organization can (but isn’t required to) provide the reconciliations contained on Schedule D (Form 990), Parts XI–XII. The organization isn’t required to answer “Yes” to a question on Form 990, Part IV, or complete the schedule (or part of a schedule) to which the question is directed if the organization isn’t required to provide any information in the schedule (or part of the schedule). Thus, a minimum dollar threshold for reporting information on a schedule may be relevant in determining whether the organization must answer “Yes” on a question on Form 990, Part IV.

Where to Mail Form 990?

A subordinate organization that files a separate Form 990 instead of being included in a group return must use its own EIN, and not that of the central organization. In general, don’t report negative numbers, but use -0- instead of a negative number, unless the instructions otherwise provide. Report revenue and expenses separately and don’t net related items, unless otherwise provided. Use of a paid preparer doesn’t relieve the organization of its responsibility to file a complete and accurate return.

what is a form 990

The organization is aware of the compensation arrangement between A and B, and doesn’t treat the payments as paid by the organization for Form W-2 reporting purposes. A, as the top management official of the organization, must be listed as an officer of the organization in Part VII, Section A. However, the amounts paid by B to A require that the organization answer “Yes” on line 5 and complete Schedule J (Form 990) about A. T was reported as one of Y Charity’s five highest compensated employees on one of Y’s Forms 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF from one of its 5 prior tax years. During Y’s tax year, T wasn’t a current officer, director, trustee, key employee, or highest compensated employee of Y, although T was still an employee of Y during the calendar year ending with or within Y’s tax year. T received reportable compensation in excess of $100,000 from Y and related organizations for such calendar year. T isn’t reportable as a former highest compensated employee on Y’s Form 990, Part VII, Section A, for Y’s tax year because T was an employee of Y during the calendar year ending with or within Y’s tax year.


An organization must support any claim to have liquidated, terminated, dissolved, or merged by attaching a certified copy of its articles of dissolution or merger approved by the appropriate state authority. If a certified copy of its articles of dissolution or merger isn’t available, the organization must submit a copy of a resolution or resolutions of its governing body approving plans of liquidation, termination, dissolution, or merger. If a change in address occurs after the return is filed, use Form 8822-B to notify the IRS of the new address. To facilitate the processing of your return, don’t password protect or encrypt PDF attachments.

If the organization needs a complete copy of its previously filed return, it can file Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return. A state reporting requirement requires the organization to report certain revenue, expense, or balance sheet items differently from the way it normally accounts for them on its books. A Form 990 prepared for that state is acceptable for IRS reporting purposes if the state reporting requirement doesn’t conflict with the Instructions for Form 990. If an organization that submits Form 990-N changes its accounting period, it must report this change on Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or Form 1128, or by sending a letter to Internal Revenue Service, 1973 Rulon White Blvd., Ogden, UT 84201. If the organization has established a fiscal year accounting period, use the 2022 Form 990 to report on the organization’s fiscal year that began in 2022 and ended 12 months later. A fiscal year accounting period should normally coincide with the natural operating cycle of the organization.

Organizations That Are Exempt From Filing Form 990

Form 990 (officially, the “Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax”[1]) is a United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form that provides the public with financial information about a nonprofit organization. It is also used by government agencies to prevent organizations from abusing their tax-exempt status. Certain nonprofits have more comprehensive reporting requirements, such as hospitals and other healthcare organizations. If a disqualified person makes a payment of less than the full correction amount, the 200% tax is imposed only on the unpaid portion of the correction amount. If more than one disqualified person received an excess benefit from an excess benefit transaction, all the disqualified persons are jointly and severally liable for the taxes. A tax-exempt organization isn’t required to comply with a request for a copy of its application for tax exemption or an annual information return if the organization has made the requested document widely available (see below).

Additionally, an excess benefit transaction includes any loans provided by the supporting organization to a disqualified person (other than an organization described in section 509(a)(1), (2), or (4)). An entity that is owned, directly or indirectly (for example, under constructive ownership rules of section 267(c)), by a given person, such as the organization’s current or former officers, directors, trustees, or key employees listed on Form 990, Part VII, Section 1, or the family members thereof (listed persons) as follows. Enter the combined total of amounts held in interest-bearing checking and savings accounts, deposits in transit, temporary cash investments (such as money market funds, commercial paper, and certificates of deposit), and U.S. Treasury bills or other governmental obligations that mature in less than a year. Don’t include cash balances held in an investment account with a financial institution and reported on lines 11 through 13.

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