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Accounting Information > IRS Tax Forms > Form 990 Information return for Tax Exempt Organization

Form 990 - Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax

             Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, is an information return filed by tax-exempt organizations, nonexempt charitable trusts, and section 527 political organizations.  The Form 990 which is filed with the IRS is available for public review.  Also available for public inspection is Schedule B, Schedule of Contributors, for section 527 organizations filing Form 990.  Only portions of Schedule B will be available for public review for other organizations that file Form 990.

             Those organizations that are exempt from income tax under Internal Revenue Code section 501(a) are normally required to file Form 990 depending on the gross receipts of the organization for the year.  Gross receipts is defined as the total revenues for the organization from all sources for the annual accounting period, before deducting any expenses.  Unless the organization qualifies for one of the specific exemptions from filing, if the annual gross receipts are usually greater than $25,000, a Form 990 would be required to be filed. 


             If an organization is a supporting organization, it is normally required to file Form 990 even though it normally has gross receipts of $25,000 or less.  However, supporting organizations of religious organizations that have gross receipts which are usually $5,000 or less would not be required to file Form 990.  If the gross receipts for an organization are less than $100,000 and the total assets at year-end are less than $250,000, that organization can file Form 990-EZ rather than Form 990.  Foreign organizations and cooperative service organizations, child care organizations, and charitable risk pools are also required to file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ, unless the organization is specifically exempted.

             There is a rather long list of organizations which are specifically exempted from the requirement of filing Form 990 or 990-EZ.  These exempted organizations can choose to file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ, and some do make this choice, due to state reporting requirements.  Some of the specific exemptions are a church, an interchurch organization of local units of a church, a convention or association of churches, an integrated auxiliary of a church; a church-affiliated organization engaged exclusively in managing funds or maintaining retirement programs; a below-college-level school affiliated with a church or operated by a religious order; a solely religious activity of a religious order; and a state institution whose income is excluded from gross income.  Other examples of specific exemptions are a black lung benefit trust; a qualifying stock bonus, pension, or profit-sharing trust; and a foreign organization with annual gross receipts from U.S. sources of usually less than $25,000.

             There are a slew of supplemental schedules that may need to be filed with Form 990, based on the characteristics of the organization.  Some of these schedules are Schedule A, Schedule B, Form 3115, Form 4562 for depreciation and amortization, Form 5500 - Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, and Form 8282 - Donee Information Return.

          If you need help with figuring out your income taxes or other accounting issues, then you are in the right place.  Try out the CPA search feature on this website to find a qualified professional in your area to assist you with all your tax and accounting needs.


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