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Exempt Organizations e-File - Eligibility and Availability

What is e-File for charities and nonprofits (tax-exempt organizations)?

IRS Modernized e-File (MeF) is the name for the electronic filing system for certain tax and information returns. When a nonprofit organization e-files, it sends its information return data to IRS electronically instead of on paper forms. MeF is a web-based system allowing electronic filing through the Internet.  MeF uses the widely accepted eXtensible Markup Language (XML) format, a standardized way of identifying, storing and transmitting data.  MeF currently accepts filings through IRS' existing Electronic Management System (EMS).

Exempt organizations can e-file:

  • Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax;
  • Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax;
  • Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1) Trust Treated as a Private Foundation;
  • Form1120-POL, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations;
  • Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return; and
  • Form 7004, Application for Automatic 6-Month Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns (the extension form associated with the 1120-POL).

Certain tax-exempt organizations are required to electronically file as explained in these FAQs.  With a few exceptions, most tax-exempt organizations that file Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF or 1120-POL can file electronically.  Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return, is not yet available for electronic filing.

IRS e-file is available to tax-exempt organizations that prepare and/or transmit their own returns and to those that rely upon a tax professional to prepare and/or transmit their returns.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 16-Dec-2014