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.
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