Future developments.   For the latest information about developments related to Form 990 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to www.irs.gov/form990.

General Instructions

Note.

Terms in bold are defined in the Glossary of the Instructions for Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax.

Purpose of Schedule

Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ) is used by an organization that files Form 990 or Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, to provide the required information about public charity status and public support.

Who Must File

An organization that answered “Yes” to Form 990, Part IV, line 1, must complete and attach Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ) to Form 990. Any section  
501(c)(3) organization (or organization treated as such) that files a Form 990-EZ must complete and attach this schedule to Form 990-EZ. These include:

  • Organizations that are described in section 501(c)(3) and are public charities;

  • Organizations that are described in sections 501(e), 501(f), 501(j),501(k), or 501(n); and

  • Nonexempt charitable trusts described in section 4947(a)(1) that are not treated as private foundations.

If an organization is not required to file Form 990 or 990-EZ but chooses to do so, it must file a complete return and provide all of the information requested, including the required schedules.

Any organization that is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) but is a private foundation and not a public charity should not file Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ), but should file Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1) Trust Treated as a Private Foundation. See instructions to Part I.

Accounting Method

When completing Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ), the organization must use the same accounting method it checked on Form 990, Part XII, line 1, or Form 990-EZ, line G. The organization must use this accounting method in reporting all amounts on Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ), regardless of the accounting method it used in completing Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ) for prior years.

If the accounting method the organization used in completing the 2012 Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ) was different from the accounting method checked on the 2013 Form 990, Part XII, line 1, or the 2013 Form 990-EZ, line G, the organization should not report in either Part II or Part III the amounts reported in the applicable columns of the 2012 Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ). Instead, the organization should report all amounts in Part II or Part III using the accounting method checked on the 2013 Form 990, Part XII, line 1, or the 2013 Form 990-EZ, line G.

If the organization changed its accounting method from a prior year, it should provide an explanation in Schedule O (Form 990 or 990-EZ), Supplemental Information to Form 990 or 990–EZ.

Example 1.

An organization checks “Cash” on Form 990, Part XII, line 1. It should report the amounts in Part II or Part III using the cash method. If the organization filed a 2012 Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ) using the cash method, it should report in the 2009 through 2012 columns on the 2013 Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ) the same amounts that it reported in the 2009 through 2012 columns on the 2012 Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ).

Example 2.

An organization checks “Accrual” on Form 990, Part XII, line 1. The organization reports grants on Form 990, Part VIII, line 1, in accordance with the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards, SFAS 116 (ACS 958), (see instructions for Form 990, Part VIII, line 1). The organization receives a grant to be paid in future years. The organization should report the grant's present value on the 2013 Schedule A (Form 990 or Form 990-EZ). The organization should report accruals of present value increments to the unpaid grant on Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ) in future years.

The IRS has eliminated the advance ruling process for section 501(c)(3) organizations described in sections 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) and 509(a)(2). Organizations with an advance ruling that expired on or after June 9, 2008, do not need to file Form 8734, Support Schedule for Advance Ruling Period, at the end of their 5-year advance ruling period to report financial information to support their qualification as publicly supported organizations. Organizations described in sections 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) and 509(a)(2) now use a 5-year period that includes the current tax year and the four preceding tax years in computing their public support percentages.


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