IRS Form 990 Basics

Which forms do exempt organizations file?

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.

2010 Tax Year and later
(Filed in 2011 and later)

Form to File

Gross receipts normally ≤ $50,000
Note: Organizations eligible to file the e-Postcard may choose to file a full return
990-N
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 990-PF

Exempt Organization Filing Requirements: IRS Form 990 Due Date

When is IRS Form 990 due?

Form 990 is due on the 15th day of the 5th month following the end of the organization’s taxable year.

For organizations on a calendar year, IRS Form 990 is due on May 15th of the following year.

Procedures for Extending Exempt Organization Returns
Use Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization Return, to request an automatic three-month (six-month for IRS Form 990-T filed by a corporation) extension of time to file any of the following returns:

Also use Form 8868, to request an additional (not automatic) three-month extension for returns other than Form 990-T for corporations. To receive the additional extension, the organization must describe in detail the reasons causing the additional delay in filing the return.

Note that IRS Form 8868 cannot be filed to extend the due date of a IRS Form 990-N.Extending the time for filing a return does not extend the time for paying tax. To avoid interest and penalties, send the full balance due as soon as possible with IRS Form 8868.