Filing Tips for Form 990-EZ


Sponsoring organizations and controlling organizations

If you are a sponsoring organization of a donor advised fund, you must file Form 990 rather than Form 990-EZ. You must also file Form 990 rather than Form 990-EZ if you are a controlling organization defined in section 512(b)(13) and if there was any transfer of funds between you and any controlled entity during your tax year.

Double check your identifying information

Check the accuracy of your Employer Identification Number (EIN), Tax Period and Group Exemption Number (GEN) if applicable. Make sure you indicate the correct Internal Revenue Code subsection for your organization's tax-exempt status, as indicated in your determination letter.

Be sure to sign the return

Form 990-EZ is not complete without a proper signature in the signature block (Part VI).  An officer of the organization must sign the return.  For a corporation or association, this officer may be the president, vice president, treasurer, assistant treasurer, chief accounting officer or tax officer.  For a trust, the authorized trustee(s) must sign.

Complete Parts I through V

All organizations that file Form 990-EZ must complete fully Parts I through V of Form 990-EZ.

Complete Part VI

All 501(c)(3) organizations and section 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable trusts must complete all of Part VI of Form 990-EZ.

Be sure all required schedules are fully completed and attached

 Form 990-EZ filers may be required to file Schedule APDF, Schedule BPDF, Schedule CPDF, Schedule EPDF, Schedule GPDF, Schedule LPDF, Schedule NPDF, and/or Schedule OPDF.  When completing required schedules:

  • Carefully read the instructions for each of the required schedules;
  • Complete all applicable parts and lines;
  • Answer yes or no to each question (unless otherwise instructed for a particular question);
  • Make an entry on all total lines including zero (0) when appropriate;

Complete Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ), Public Charity Status and Public Support

 All section 501(c)(3) or 4947(a)(1) organizations that file Form 990-EZ must complete fully and file Schedule APDF.  You must use the appropriate Schedule A for the tax period for which you are filing.  Penalties may be assessed for failing to file the proper version of Schedule A for the tax period of the return. 

Complete Schedule B (Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF), Schedule of Contributors

All organizations must complete and attach Schedule BPDF or certify the organization is not required to attach Schedule B by answering No in Item H of Form 990-EZ.

Complete Schedule C (Form 990 or 990-EZ), Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities

Schedule CPDF is used by section 501(c) and section 527 organizations to furnish additional information on political campaign and lobbying activities.

Complete Schedule E (Form 990 or 990-EZ), Schools

Schedule EPDF must be completed by organizations that are schools as described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii).

Complete Schedule L (Form 990 or 990-EZ), Transactions with Interested Persons

Schedule LPDF must be completed by organizations required to report excess benefit transactions or loans to or from directors, trustees, officers, key employees, or disqualified persons.

Interactive Training

Learn more about the benefits, limitations and expectations of tax-exempt organizations by attending 10 courses at the online Small to Mid-Size Tax Exempt Organization Workshop.