Overview of Form 990-EZ.
The Form 990-EZ is an annual information return required to be filed with the IRS by many organizations exempt from income
tax under section 501(a), and certain political organizations and nonexempt charitable trusts. Parts I through V of the form
must be completed by all filing organizations (Part VI must be completed by section 501(c)(3) organizations and section 4947(a)(1)
nonexempt charitable trusts), and require reporting on the organization's exempt and other activities, finances, compliance
with certain federal tax filings and requirements, and compensation paid to certain persons. Additional schedules are required
to be completed depending upon the activities and type of organization. The completed Form 990-EZ filed with the IRS, except
for certain contributor information on Schedule B (Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF), Schedule of Contributors, is required to
be made available to the public by the IRS and the filing organization (see Appendix D. Public Inspection of Returns
). Also, the organization may be required to file the completed Form 990-EZ with state governments to satisfy state reporting
requirements. See Appendix G. Use of Form 990 and 990-EZ to Satisfy State Reporting Requirements.
Most organizations exempt from income tax under section 501(a) must file an annual information return (Form 990 or 990-EZ)
or submit an annual electronic notice (Form 990-N), depending upon the organization's gross receipts and total assets.
If an organization has gross receipts less than $200,000 and total assets at the end of the year less than $500,000, it can
file Form 990-EZ, instead of Form 990. See the instructions below for more information. But see the special rules below for
Controlling organizations described in section 512(b)(13), Organizations that operate one or more hospital facilities, Organizations recognized by the IRS as section 501(c)(29) nonprofit
health insurance issuers, and Sponsoring organizations of donor advised funds (as defined in section 4966(d)(1)).
Form 990 (not 990-EZ or 990-N) must be filed by an organization exempt from income tax under section 501(a) (including an
organization that has not applied for recognition of exemption or whose application for recognition of exemption is pending)
if it has either gross receipts greater than or equal to $200,000 or total assets greater than or equal to $500,000 at the
end of the tax year. This includes the following:
Gross receipts are the total amounts the organization received from all sources during its annual accounting period,
without subtracting any costs or expenses. See Appendix B
for a discussion of gross receipts. Total assets is the amount reported by the organization on its balance sheet (Form 990-EZ,
Part II, column (B), line 25) as of the end of the year, without reduction for liabilities.
For purposes of Form 990 or Form 990-EZ reporting, the term “section 501(c)(3)
” includes organizations exempt under sections 501(e) and (f) (cooperative service organizations), 501(j) (amateur sports
organizations), 501(k) (child care organizations), and 501(n) (charitable risk pools). In addition, any organization described
in one of these sections is also subject to section 4958 if it obtains a determination letter from the IRS stating that it
is described in section 501(c)(3).
If an organization normally has annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less, it must submit Form 990-N, Electronic Notice
(e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations not Required To File Form 990 or 990-EZ, if it does not file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ
(with exceptions described below for certain section 509(a)(3) supporting organizations and for certain organizations described
in General Instruction B
). See Appendix B
for a discussion of gross receipts.
Organizations can file Form 990-EZ electronically. See General Instruction D
for who must file electronically.
Foreign and U.S. possession organizations.
Foreign organizations and U.S. possession organizations, as well as domestic organizations described above, must file
Form 990 or 990-EZ unless specifically excepted under General Instruction B
. Report amounts in U.S. dollars, and state what conversion rate the organization uses. Combine amounts from within and outside
the United States, and report the total for each item. All information must be written in English.
Sponsoring organizations of donor advised funds.
Sponsoring organizations of donor advised funds (as defined in section 4966(d)(1)) must file Form 990 and not Form
990-EZ. See line 44 and the related instructions.
Organizations that operate one or more hospital facilities.
Organizations that operated one or more hospital facilities during the tax year must file Form 990 and not Form 990-EZ,
and complete Schedule H. A hospital facility
is a facility that is required to be licensed, registered, or similarly recognized by a state as a hospital. See line 44b
and the related instructions.
Section 501(c)(29) nonprofit health insurance issuers.
Nonprofit health insurance issuers described in section 501(c)(29) must file Form 990 and not Form 990-EZ.
Controlling organizations described in section 512(b)(13).
A controlling organization of one or more controlled entities, as described in section 512(b)(13), must file Form
990 and not Form 990-EZ if it is required to file an annual information return for the year and if there was a certain type
of transfer of funds between the controlling organization and any controlled entity during the year. See line 45 and the related
Section 509(a)(3) supporting organizations.
A section 509(a)(3) supporting organization must file Form 990 or 990-EZ, even if its gross receipts are normally
$50,000 or less, and even if it is described in Rev. Proc. 96-10, 1996-1 C.B. 577, or is an affiliate of a governmental unit
described in Rev. Proc. 95-48, unless it qualifies as one of the following:
An integrated auxiliary of a church, as described in Regulations section 1.6033-2(h),
The exclusively religious activities of a religious order, or
An organization whose gross receipts are normally not more than $5,000 that supports a section 501(c)(3) religious organization.
If the organization is described in 3, then it must submit Form 990-N unless it voluntarily files Form 990 or Form
Section 501(c)(7) and 501(c)(15) organizations.
Section 501(c)(7) and 501(c)(15) organizations apply the same gross receipts test as other organizations to determine
whether they must file a Form 990 or 990-EZ, but use a different definition of gross receipts to determine whether they qualify
as tax-exempt for the tax year. See Appendix C
for more information.
Section 527 political organizations.
Tax-exempt political organizations must file Form 990 or 990-EZ unless their annual gross receipts are less than $25,000
during the tax year or they are otherwise excepted under General Instruction B, Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or 990-EZ
. A section 527 political organization that is a qualified state or local political organization must file Form 990 or 990-EZ
only if it has gross receipts of $100,000 or more. Political organizations are not required to submit Form 990-N.
Section 4947(a)(1) non-exempt charitable trusts.
A non-exempt charitable trust described under section 4947(a)(1) (if it is not treated as a private foundation) is
required to file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ unless excepted under General Instruction B
. Such a trust is treated like an exempt section 501(c)(3) organization for purposes of completing the form. Section 4947(a)(1)
trusts must complete all sections of the Form 990-EZ and schedules that 501(c)(3) organizations must complete. All references
to a section 501(c)(3) organization in the Form 990-EZ, schedules, and instructions include a section 4947(a)(1) trust (for
instance, such a trust must complete Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ), Public Charity Status and Public Support), unless otherwise
specified. If such a trust does not have any taxable income under Subtitle A of the Code, it can file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ
to meet its section 6012 filing requirement and does not have to file Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts.
A group return filed by the central or parent organization on behalf of the subordinates in a group exemption must
be filed using Form 990, not Form 990-EZ.
Returns when exempt status not established.
An organization is required to file Form 990 or 990-EZ in accordance with these instructions if the organization claims
exempt status under section 501(a) but has not established such exempt status by filing Form 1023 or 1024 and receiving an
IRS determination letter recognizing exempt status. In such cases, the organization must check the “application pending
” checkbox in Item B of the Form 990 or 990-EZ header (whether or not a Form 1023 or 1024 has been filed) to indicate that
the Form 990 or 990-EZ is being filed in the belief that the organization is exempt under section 501(a).
To qualify for tax exemption retroactive to its date of organization or formation, an organization claiming tax-exempt
status under section 501(c)(3), 501(c)(9), or 501(c)(17) generally must file Form 1023 or 1024 within 27 months of the end
of the month in which it was legally organized or formed.
B. Organizations Not Required To File Form 990 or 990-EZ
An organization described below does not have to file Form 990 or 990-EZ even if it has at least $200,000 of gross receipts
or $500,000 total assets at the end of the tax year (except for section 509(a)(3) supporting organizations described in General Instruction A). See General Instruction A for determining whether the organization can file Form 990-EZ instead of Form 990. An organization described in item 10, 11,
or 13 below is required to submit Form 990-N unless it voluntarily files Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-BL, as applicable.
Certain religious organizations
A church, an interchurch organization of local units of a church, a convention or association of churches, or an integrated
auxiliary of a church as described in Regulations section 1.6033-2(h) (such as a men's or women's organization, religious
school, mission society, or youth group).
A church-affiliated organization that is exclusively engaged in managing funds or maintaining retirement programs and is described
in Rev. Proc. 96-10. But see the filing requirements for section 509(a)(3) supporting organizations in A, Who Must File.
A school below college level affiliated with a church or operated by a religious order, as described in Regulations section
A mission society sponsored by, or affiliated with, one or more churches or church denominations, if more than half of the
society's activities are conducted in, or directed at, persons in foreign countries.
An exclusively religious activity of any religious order described in Rev. Proc. 91-20, 1991-1 C.B. 524.
Certain governmental organizations
A state institution whose income is excluded from gross income under section 115.
A governmental unit or affiliate of a governmental unit described in Rev. Proc. 95-48. But see the filing requirements for
section 509(a)(3) supporting organizations in A. Who Must File.
An organization described in section 501(c)(1). A section 501(c)(1) organization is a corporation organized under an act of
Congress that is an instrumentality of the United States, and exempt from federal income taxes.
Certain political organizations
A political organization that is:
A state or local committee of a political party,
A political committee of a state or local candidate,
A caucus or association of state or local officials, or
Required to report under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 as a political committee (as defined in section 301(4)
of such Act).
Certain organizations with limited gross receipts
An organization whose gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less. To determine what an organization's gross receipts “normally” are, see Appendix B.
Foreign organizations and organizations located in U.S. possessions, whose gross receipts from sources within the United States
are normally $50,000 or less, and which did not engage in significant activity in the United States (other than investment
activity). But if a foreign organization or organization located in a U.S. possession is required to file a Form 990 or Form
990-EZ, then its worldwide gross receipts, as well as assets, are taken into account in determining whether it qualifies to
file Form 990-EZ. To determine what an organization's gross receipts “normally” are, see Appendix B.
Certain organizations that file different kinds of annual information returns
A private foundation (including a private operating foundation) exempt under section 501(c)(3) and described in section 509(a). Use Form 990-PF for a taxable private foundation, a section 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable trust treated as a private foundation,
and a private foundation terminating its status by becoming a public charity under section 507(b)(1)(B) for tax years within
its 60-month termination period. If the section 507(b)(1)(B) organization successfully terminates, then it files Form 990
or 990-EZ in its final year of termination.
A black lung benefit trust described in section 501(c)(21). Use Form 990-BL, Information and Initial Excise Tax Return for
Black Lung Benefit Trusts and Certain Related Persons.
A religious or apostolic organization described in section 501(d). Use Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income.
A stock bonus, pension, or profit-sharing trust that qualifies under section 401. Use Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee
Subordinate organizations in a group exemption which are included in a group return filed for the tax year by the central
organization should not file a separate Form 990 or 990-EZ, or submit Form 990-N for the tax year.
D. When, Where, and How to File
File Form 990-EZ by the 15th day of the 5th month after the organization's accounting period ends (May 15 for a calendar-year filer). If the regular due date falls on
a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, file on the next business day. A business day is any day that is not a Saturday, Sunday,
or legal holiday.
If the organization is liquidated, dissolved, or terminated, file the return by the 15th day of the 5th month after liquidation, dissolution, or termination.
If the return is not filed by the due date (including any extension granted), attach a statement giving the reason(s) for
not filing on time.
Send the return to the:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Ogden, UT 84201-0027
Foreign and U.S. possession organizations.
If the organization's principal business, office, or agency is located in a foreign country or U.S. possession, send
the return to the:
Internal Revenue Service Center
P.O. Box 409101
Ogden, UT 84409
Private delivery services.
The organization can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the “timely mailing as timely filing/paying
” rule for tax returns and payments. These private delivery services include only the following:
DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service,
Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, FedEx
International First, and
United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air AM, UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.
The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.
For private delivery services, deliver the return to:
Internal Revenue Submission Processing Center
1973 Rulon White Blvd.
Ogden, UT 84404
Private delivery services cannot deliver items to P.O. boxes. You must use the U.S. Postal Service to mail any item to an
IRS P.O. Box.
The organization can file Form 990-EZ or Form 990 and related forms, schedules, and attachments electronically. However,
if an organization files at least 250 returns of any type during the calendar year ending with or within the organization's
tax year and has total assets of $10 million or more at the end of the tax year, it must file Form 990 electronically (and
not Form 990-EZ). “Returns
” for this purpose include information returns (for example, Forms W-2, Forms 1099), income tax returns, employment tax returns
(including quarterly Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return), and excise tax returns.
If an organization is required to file a return electronically but does not, the organization is considered not to
have filed its return, even if a paper return is submitted, unless it is reporting a name change, in which case it must file
by paper and attach the documents described in Specific Instructions, Item B. Checkboxes
. See Regulations section 301.6033-4 for more information on required electronic filing of Form 990.
For additional information on the electronic filing requirement, visit www.irs.gov/efile
The IRS may waive the requirements to file electronically in cases of undue hardship. For information on filing a
waiver, see Notice 2010-13, 2010-4 I.R.B. 327, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2010-04_IRB/ar14.html
F. Amended Return/Final Return
To amend the organization's return for any year, file a new return including any required schedules. Use the version of Form
990-EZ applicable to the year being amended. The amended return must provide all the information called for by the form and
instructions, not just the new or corrected information. Check the “Amended return” box in Item B of the heading of the return. Also, list in Schedule O (Form 990 or 990-EZ) which parts and schedules of the Form 990-EZ
were amended and describe the amendments.
The organization can file an amended return at any time to change or add to the information reported on a previously filed
return for the same period. It must make the amended return available for inspection for 3 years from the date of filing or
3 years from the date the original return was due, whichever is later.
If the organization needs a copy of its previously filed return, it can file Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return. See
IRS.gov for information on getting blank tax forms.
If the return is a final return, the organization must check the “Terminated” box in Item B of the heading and complete Schedule N (Form 990 or 990-EZ), Liquidation, Termination, Dissolution or Significant Disposition
Amended returns and state filing considerations.
State law can require that the organization send a copy of an amended Form 990-EZ return (or information provided
to the IRS supplementing the return) to the state with which it filed a copy of Form 990-EZ originally to meet that state's
filing requirement. A state can require an organization to file an amended Form 990-EZ to satisfy state reporting requirements,
even if the original return was accepted by the IRS.
G. Failure-to-File Penalties
Against the organization.
Under section 6652(c)(1)(A), a penalty of $20 a day, not to exceed the smaller of $10,000 or 5% of the gross receipts
of the organization for the year, can be charged when a return is filed late, unless the organization can show that the late
filing was due to reasonable cause.
Organizations with annual gross receipts exceeding $1 million are subject to a penalty of $100 for each day failure continues
(with a maximum penalty for any one return of $50,000). The penalty applies on each day after the due date that the return
is not filed.
Tax-exempt organizations which are required to file electronically but do not are deemed to have failed to file the
return. This is true even if a paper return is submitted, unless the organization files by paper to report a name change.
The penalty can also be charged if the organization files an incomplete return, such as by failing to complete a required
line item or a required part of a schedule.
To avoid penalties and having to supply missing information later:
Complete all applicable line items;
Unless instructed to skip a line, answer each question on the return;
Make an entry (including a zero when appropriate) on all lines requiring an amount or other information to be reported; and
Provide required explanations as instructed.
Also, this penalty can be imposed if the organization's return contains incorrect information. For example, an organization
that reports contributions net of related fundraising expenses may be subject to this penalty.
Use of a paid preparer does not relieve the organization of its responsibility to file a complete and accurate return.
Against responsible person(s).
If the organization does not file a complete return or does not furnish correct information, the IRS will send the
organization a letter that includes a fixed time to fulfill these requirements. After that period expires, the person failing
to comply will be charged a penalty of $10 a day. The maximum penalty on all persons for failures for any one return shall
not exceed $5,000.
There are also penalties (fines and imprisonment) for willfully not filing returns and for filing fraudulent returns
and statements with the IRS (sections 7203, 7206, and 7207). States can impose additional penalties for failure to meet their
separate filing requirements.
Automatic revocation for nonfiling for three consecutive years.
The law requires most tax-exempt organizations, other than churches, to file an annual Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF
with the IRS, or to submit a Form 990-N e-Postcard to the IRS. If an organization fails to file an annual return or submit
an annual notice as required for 3 consecutive years, its tax-exempt status is automatically revoked on and after the due
date for filing its third annual return or notice. Organizations that lose their exemption may need to file income tax returns
and pay income tax, but may apply for reinstatement of exemption. For details, go to www.irs.gov/eo
H. Requirements for a Properly Completed Form 990-EZ
All organizations filing Form 990-EZ must complete Parts I through V of the Form 990-EZ, and any required schedules and attachments.
Section 501(c)(3) organizations must also complete Part VI. If an organization is not required to file Form 990-EZ but chooses
to do so, it must file a complete return and provide all of the information requested, including the required schedules.
In general, all information the organization reports on or with its Form 990-EZ, including schedules and attachments,
will be available for public inspection. Note, however, the special rules for Schedule B (Schedule of Contributors), a required
schedule for certain organizations that file Form 990-EZ. Make sure the forms and schedules are clear enough to photocopy
legibly. For more information on public inspection requirements, see Appendix D
and Pub. 557, Tax-Exempt Status of Your Organization.
A Form 990-EZ is not complete without a proper signature. For details, see the instructions to the Signature Block
The organization's records should be kept as long as they can be needed for the administration of any provision of
the Internal Revenue Code. Usually, records that support an item of income, deduction, or credit must be kept a minimum of
3 years from the date the return is due or filed, whichever is later. Keep records that verify the organization's basis in
property as long as they are needed to figure the basis of the original or replacement property. Applicable law and an organization's
policies can require that the organization retain records longer than 3 years.
The organization should also keep copies of any returns it has filed. They help in preparing future returns and making
computations when filing an amended return.
Rounding off to whole dollars.
The organization must round off cents to whole dollars on the returns and schedules, unless otherwise noted for particular
questions. To round, drop amounts under 50 cents and increase amounts from 50 to 99 cents to the next dollar. For example,
$1.49 becomes $1 and $2.50 becomes $3. If the organization has to add two or more amounts to figure the amount to enter on
a line, include cents when adding the amounts and round off only the total.
Completing all lines.
Make an entry (including a -0- when appropriate) on all lines requiring an amount or other information to be reported.
Do not leave any applicable lines blank, unless expressly instructed to skip that line. If answering a line is predicated
on a “Yes
” answer to the preceding line, and if the organization's answer to the preceding line was “No,
” then leave the “If Yes
” line blank.
In general, answers can be explained or supplemented in Schedule O if the allotted space in the form or other schedule
is insufficient, or if a “Yes
” or “No
” answer is required but the organization wishes to explain its answer.
Missing or incomplete parts of the form and/or required schedules may result in the IRS contacting you to obtain the
missing information. Failure to supply the information may result in a penalty being assessed to your account. For tips
on filing complete returns, go to www.irs.gov/charities
Reporting proper amounts.
Some lines request information reported on other forms filed by the organization, such as Forms W-2, 1099, and 990-T.
If the organization is aware that the amount actually reported on the other form is incorrect, it must report on Form 990-EZ
the information that should have been reported on the other form (in addition to filing an amended form with the proper amount).
In general, do not report negative numbers, but report -0- in lieu of a negative number, unless the instructions provides
otherwise. Report revenue and expenses separately and do not net related items, unless otherwise provided.
Inclusion of activities and items of disregarded entities and joint ventures.
An organization must report in its Form 990-EZ all of the revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, and net assets
or funds of a disregarded entity of which it is the sole member, and must report in its Form 990-EZ its share of all such
items of a joint venture or other investment or arrangement treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. This
includes passive investments. In addition, the organization generally must report the activities of a disregarded entity or
a joint venture as its own activities in the appropriate parts and schedules of the Form 990-EZ.
A disregarded entity generally must use the EIN of its sole member. An exception applies to employment taxes. For wages paid
to employees of a disregarded entity, the disregarded entity must file separate employment tax returns and use its own EIN
on such returns. See Regulations sections 301.6109-1(h) and 301.7701-2(c)(2)(iv).
List of required schedules and attachments.
An organization may be required to file one or more of Schedules A, B, C, E, G, L, N, or O, or various other attachments
as described in the form or instructions. The following is a list of the Form 990-EZ schedules that the organization may have
Schedule A, Public Charity Status and Public Support. See Part V, Other Information.
Schedule B, Schedule of Contributors. See Item H, Requirements for a Properly Completed Form 990-EZ.
Schedule C, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities, Part III. See Line 35c (6033(e) notice and proxy tax requirements).
Schedule C, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities, Part I. See Line 46 (political campaign activities).
Schedule C, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities, Part II. See Line 47 (lobbying activities).
Schedule E, Schools. See Line 48 (schools).
Schedule G, Supplemental Information Regarding Fundraising Events or Gaming Activities, Parts II and III. See Lines 6a through 6d, Gaming and Fundraising Events.
Schedule L, Transactions with Interested Persons, Part I. See Line 40b (Section 4958 excess benefit transactions).
Schedule L, Transactions with Interested Persons, Part II. See Line 38, (loans to or from officers, directors, trustees, and key employees).
Schedule N, Liquidation, Termination, Dissolution or Significant Disposition of Assets, Parts I (liquidation, termination,
or dissolution) and II (significant disposition of net assets). See Line 36 (liquidation, dissolution, termination, or significant disposition of net assets).
Schedule O, Supplemental Information to Form 990 or Form 990-EZ. See Lines 8, 10, 16, 20, 24, 26, 31, 33, 34, and 35.
Assembling Form 990-EZ, schedules, and attachments.
Before filing the Form 990-EZ, assemble the package of forms, schedules, and attachments in the following order:
Core form with all parts completed (Parts I–V, Part VI by section 501(c)(3) organizations, Signature Block),
Schedules A, B, C, E, G, L, N, and/or O, completed as applicable, filed in alphabetical order, and
Attachments, completed as applicable. These include (a) name change amendment to organizing document required by Item B of the heading on page 1 of the return; (b) reasonable cause explanation for a late-filed return; and (c) articles of merger
or dissolution, resolutions, and plans of liquidation or merger required by Schedule N (Form 990 or 990-EZ).
Do not attach materials not authorized in the instructions, or not otherwise authorized by the IRS.
To facilitate the processing of your return, do not password protect or encrypt PDF attachments. Password protecting or encrypting
a PDF file that is attached to an e-filed return prevents the IRS from opening the attachment.