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Understanding the Basics of IRS Form 990-EZ

Have you ever read through the information on the IRS website for Form 990-EZ in its entirety? It never ends, those instructions seem to go on forever like Lambchop's "Song That Never Ends". The material can be condensed down a smidgen to a nice outline to help you understand the basics of IRS Form 990-EZ.

Purpose of Form 990-EZ
The 990-EZ was created to provide a shorter alternative to filing Form 990. It is used by tax-exempt organizations, nonexempt charitable trusts, and section 527 political organizations to provide the IRS with the information required by section 6033.

General Instructions
There are multiple parts for the 990-EZ, but Parts I-V must be completed by all filing organizations. Part VI will need to be completed by section 501(c)(3) organizations and section 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable trusts. Here is a list of the information you will need to complete Form 990-EZ:
  • Gross Income
  • Total expenses incurred within the last year
  • Disbursements within the year that are the reason the organizations is exempt
  • Balance sheet showing assets, liabilities, and net worth
  • Total contributions & gifts received during the year and the names and addresses of all substantial contributors
  • Names and addresses of the foundation's managers and highly-compensated employees
  • compensation and other payments made during the year
  • Lobbying expenditures and nontaxable amounts
  • Direct or indirect transfers and relationships with other organizations of the same type
  • Respective amounts of the taxes imposed on the organization or any manager of the organization
  • Amounts of reimbursements paid by the organization during the taxable year for any taxes imposed 
  • Information on any excess benefit transaction
  • Information on any disqualified persons
  • Information on disaster relief activities
Who Can File
You will need to file Form 990-EZ if your tax-exempt organization has gross receipts of less than $200,000 or total assets of less than $500,000. This form is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the organizations accounting period ends. 

Extension of Time To File
You can always extend your Form 990-EZ filing deadline with Form 8868, also provided by Express990.com. This extension will automatically give you an additional 3 months to file.

These are just your basics to understanding Form 990-EZ. Next time we will get into the nitty-gritty Conditions for a Properly Completed Form 990-EZ.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers related to e-filing IRS Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-N (e-Postcard), Form 1120-POL and Extension Form 8868 with our Frequently Asked Questions.

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