Annual Electronic Filing Requirement for Small Exempt Organizations — Form 990-N (e-Postcard)

 

Who May File Form 990-N to Satisfy Their Annual Reporting Requirement?

In general, exempt organizations have an annual reporting requirement although there are exceptions.

Most small tax-exempt organizations that have an annual reporting requirement can satisfy the requirements by submitting Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or Form 990-EZ. Form 990-N is submitted electronically, there are no paper forms.

An organization eligible to submit Form 990-N can instead choose to file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ to satisfy its annual reporting requirement.

Small tax-exempt organizations generally are eligible to file Form 990-N to satisfy their annual reporting requirement if their annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less.

  • Gross receipts are the total amounts the organization received from all sources during its annual accounting period, without subtracting any costs or expenses.
  • Gross receipts are considered to be normally $50,000 or less if the organization:
    • Has been in existence for 1 year or less and received, or donors have pledged to give, $75,000 or less during its first tax year;
    • Has been in existence between 1 and 3 years and averaged $60,000 or less in gross receipts during each of its first two tax years; and
    • Is at least 3 years old and averaged $50,000 or less in gross receipts for the immediately preceding 3 tax years (including the year for which calculations are being made).

However, some organizations aren’t eligible to use Form 990-N (e-Postcard) even if their gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less.  These organizations must file different forms instead to satisfy their annual reporting requirement. 

Note: a subordinate organization in a group exemption that is included in a group return filed by its central organization does not file Form 990-N because the group return satisfies its annual reporting requirement.


Submitting Form 990-N (e-Postcard)

If you’re eligible to submit Form 990-N (e-Postcard), review the submission guidance and gather the information needed (below). Once you’re ready, you can access the e-Postcard system and submit Form 990-N. You will be asked to sign-in or create an account to submit Form 990-N.

Beginning August 1, 2022, smaller charities that are eligible and choose to file Form 990-N, Electronic Notice for Tax-Exempt Organizations (e-Postcard), must sign into the IRS modernized authentication platform using either their active IRS username or create an account with ID.me, the current IRS credential service provider.

When accessing the Form 990-N Electronic Filing system, you will have three options:

  1. Sign in with their active IRS username: Users with an active IRS username have the option to access the Form 990-N submission page using their existing IRS credentials or they can choose to create a new account with ID.me.
  2. Sign in with their existing ID.me account: Users that have an ID.me account to access other IRS online services or from a state or federal agency can sign in using their existing ID.me account.
  3. Create a new ID.me account: Users that don’t have an active IRS username credential must register and sign in with ID.me.

ID.me account creation requires an email address and multi-factor authentication. Form 990-N filers who have an existing IRS username and register for an ID.me account must use the same email address.

Review the IRS Form 990-N Electronic Filing System (e-Postcard) User GuidePDF for step by step instructions on how to create an account and submit electronic Form 990-N (e-Postcard). Most common problems can be avoided by following the User Guide.

Submit Form 990-N (e-Postcard)


Ready to File?

Form 990-N is easy to complete. You'll need only eight items of basic information about your organization.

  • Employer identification number (EIN), also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
  • Tax year (calendar or fiscal filer)
  • Legal name and mailing address
  • Any other names the organization uses
  • Name and address of a principal officer
  • Website address if the organization has one
  • Confirmation that the organization's annual gross receipts are $50,000 or less
  • If applicable, a statement that the organization has terminated or is terminating (going out of business)

For more information about these items, see Form 990-N: Information Reported.

Do not use a smart phone or tablet to file your Form 990-N.

Filing Due Date

Form 990-N is due every year by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your tax year. You cannot file the e-Postcard until after your tax year ends.

Example: If your tax year ended on December 31, the e-Postcard is due May 15 of the following year. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, the due date is the next business day.

Late Submissions

If we don't receive your submission by the due date, a reminder will be sent to the address on file. Organizations should submit the required form, even if they are late. There is no penalty for late submissions. 

While there is no penalty assessment for filing Form 990-N late, organizations that fail to file required Forms 990, 990-EZ or 990-N for three consecutive years will automatically lose their tax-exempt status. Revocation of the organization's tax-exempt status will happen on the filing due date of the third consecutively-missed year.

Search for Form 990-N Filings

To search for organizations that have filed Form 990-N and to view their filings, see Tax-Exempt Organization Search. You can also download the entire database of Form 990-N filings.

Problems Filing

If you experience filing system or website problems, see How to File: Frequently Asked Questions. If you can't fix the problem, call TE/GE Customer Account Services at 877-829-5500. A representative will file your Form 990-N information.

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