Skip to main content

Site Navigation

Site Search

mission Matters

Understanding the Different Versions of Form 990

October 30, 2015

Not sure which version of Form 990 your organization must file? Find out here.

Form 990 is a vital document in the nonprofit world - it is an annual reporting return that most tax exempt organizations must file with the IRS to show information on finances, governance, and the overall activity related to the mission of the nonprofit. As covered in our recent blog, “What are Gross Receipts on Form 990?” there are different versions of the Form 990 and your organization’s financial activity will indicate which version you must file.

Which version do I have to file?

Form 990 - Organizations with gross receipts of $200,000 or more and total assets greater than or equal to $500,000 must file a Form 990. Form 990 requires the organization to describe its overall mission, notable activities, details on revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, and details on governance as well.

Form 990-EZ - For organizations with gross receipts totaling less than $200,000 and total assets not exceeding $500,000, Form 990-EZ is used. It is considered the “short” version of the regular Form 990.

Form 990-N - This version is often referred to as the “e-postcard” which is the shortest version of the Form 990 but can only be submitted by organizations with gross receipts $50,000 or less. The “e-postcard,” is filed online via the IRS website.

Form 990-PF- This version is for all types of private foundations, regardless of financial activity.

Any organizations exempt from filing?

Churches, religious organizations, and political organizations are exempt from filing an annual Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N or 990-PF.

Don’t lose your tax exempt status

It is crucial to know which Form 990 your organization must file, in order to maintain your tax-exempt status. Any organization that fails to file the appropriate Form 990 for three consecutive years will have its tax exempt status revoked. Keep in mind there is also a daily penalty for late filing which can add up fast, so make sure you are filing the right Form 990 and getting it in before the deadline.

Looking for more information on Form 990? Check out our blog series- Understanding the Importance of Your Form 990.

Questions? Contact any member of our Not-for-Profit Services Team.

Stay informed. Get all the latest news delivered straight to your inbox.

Also in Mission Matters Blog

up arrow Scroll to Top