What Form 990 to File?

What Form 990 to File

Written by Matt Neu

October 5, 2021

The majority of tax-exempt organizations are required to file an annual return called a Form 990. Four different Form 990s are available for filing. The Form an organization should file depends on its financial activity.

Form 990-N

When an organization has annual gross receipts less than or equal to $50,000, it should file this Form 990-N. The Form 990-N is submitted as an electronic postcard which can be found at www.irs.gov. Although it is not required, organizations that fit into this category have the option to file a full Form 990 or 990-EZ if they choose instead of the Form 990-N. Private foundations, supporting organizations and section 527 organizations cannot file a Form 990-N regardless of their annual activity.

Form 990-EZ

Organizations with annual gross receipts less than $200,000 and total assets at the end of their tax year of less than $500,000 can file Form 990-EZ. They also have the option to file the full Form 990. Special rules apply to sponsoring organizations of donor-advised funds, Organizations that operate one or more hospital facilities, and Section 501(c)(29) nonprofit health insurance issuers; these organizations are required to file a full Form 990 regardless of the level of their receipts or assets.

Form 990

Form 990 must be used when an organization has annual gross receipts greater than $200,000 or total assets at the end of its tax year of greater than or equal to $500,000.


990-PF is for all private foundations to file, regardless of their financial status.

A Few Considerations

State laws may also require charitable organizations to register and file separate annual reports. Also, if tax-exempt organizations generate unrelated business income, they may be required to file an additional Form 990 called a 990-T.

For additional information on these forms and which is the correct one for your organization to file, contact your Hawkins Ash CPAs professionals.

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Matt Neu
I am a senior manager in the Manitowoc, WI, office where I provide audit services to nonprofit organizations, commercial entities, governmental entities and employee benefit plans. In addition, I work with compilation and review engagements. I joined Hawkins Ash CPAs in 1999 and am a member of the Employee Benefit Plan and Nonprofit Service Groups.

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