Exempt Organization Annual Filing Requirements Overview

Taken from the IRS's website, the following filing requirements are required by organizations which have been approved for 501(c)(3)status:

Most tax-exempt organizations are required to file an annual return. Which form an organization must file generally depends on its financial activity, as indicated in the chart below.:

Status  Form to File

Gross receipts normally ≤ $50,000                                                                 990-N Note: Organizations eligible to file the e-Postcard 

may choose to file a full return

Gross receipts < $200,000, and Total assets < $500,000                        990-EZ or 990

Gross receipts ≥ $200,000, or Total assets ≥ $500,000                           990

Private foundation - regardless of financial status                                    990-PF

The return is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of the organization's fiscal year. (For example, the 2008 return of an organization whose fiscal year ends on June 30, 2009, would be November 15, 2009.)  The due date may be extended for six months, without showing cause, by filing Form 8868 before the due date.  An organization will only be allowed an extension of 6 months for a return for a tax year.

If an organization does not file a required return or files late, the IRS may assess penalties. In addition, if an organization does not file as required for three consecutive years, it automatically loses its tax-exempt status.

Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or Form 990EZ, must be submitted electronically.

The Form 990-N electronic-filing system is located at the IRS.gov website. All filers must register at IRS.gov prior to filing their next Form 990-N. This is a one-time registration; you won’t be asked to register again when filing next year.

Form 990-N must be completed and filed electronically. There is no paper form.

Form 990-N filers may choose to file a complete Form 990 or Form 990-EZ instead.

Use the Form 990-N Electronic Filing System (e-Postcard) User Guide while registering and filing.

Most common problems can be avoided by following the User Guide.

For filing system and website issues, see How to File: Frequently Asked Questions. If site issues are unresolved, call TE/GE Customer Accounts Services at 877-829-5500. A representative will file your Form 990-N information.

Organizations should continue efforts to file, even if late

Form 990-N is easy to complete. Completing the e-Postcard requires the eight items listed below:

Employer identification number (EIN), also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

Tax year

  1. Legal name and mailing address

  2. Any other names the organization uses

  3. Name and address of a principal officer

  4. Web site address if the organization has one

  5. Confirmation that the organization’s annual gross receipts are $50,000 or less

  6. If applicable, a statement that the organization has terminated or is terminating (going out of business

  7. Instructions for IRS Form 990 and Form 990EZ can be found at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i990.pdf and https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i990ez.pdf

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