A Helpful Checklist for Completing 990 Series Returns

ExpressTaxExempt makes filing 990 series return quick and simple!

The holiday season is looming upon us and so is the November 15th, Form 990 series deadline! For nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, this is an especially busy time. But, ExpressTaxExempt is here to help you meet your 990 series deadline easily and enter the holiday season on a positive note! 

IRS Form 990 is a tax return that tax-exempt and nonprofit organizations must file each year with the IRS. Organizations are required to file Form 990 to report information regarding their mission, programs, and finances for the tax year. 990 forms serve as a way for organizations to uphold their tax-exempt status. 

ExpressTaxExempt is here to provide nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations with a streamlined e-filing experience. With ExpressTaxExempt, organization’s filing process is convenient and straightforward. 

To help your organization prepare for the upcoming deadline and file your return quickly and easily, review this checklist provided and ensure you have all the necessary information to begin your return: 

Which form do I file? 

An organization’s gross receipts will determine which 990 series form they are required to file. However, this does not apply to organizations that need to file Form 990-PF. Private foundations will need to file Form 990-PF.

Form 990 is typically filed if an organization has gross receipts greater than or equal to $200,000 or total assets greater than or equal to $500,000 at the end of their tax year.

Form 990-EZ is typically filed if an organization has gross receipts of greater than $50,000 but less than $200,000 and total assets at the end of the year less than $500,000. 

Form 990-PF is typically filed by Exempt & Taxable Private Foundations as well as Non-Exempt Charitable Trusts which the IRS treats as private foundations. 

Form 990-N(e-Postcard), is typically filed if an organization has gross receipts of $50,000 or less. Organizations can also voluntarily file Form 990 or 990-EZ instead of Form 990-N.

What Information will I need to file my return? 

When filing a 990 series return, you will need to provide a lot of information about your organization. Considering this, it is extremely helpful to have certain information and documents handy while filing your return.

IRS Determination Letter: 

Your IRS determination letter will include important information regarding your organization’s accounting period end date, annual filing requirements, and tax-exempt status.

Identification Information: 

When you begin filing your return, you will need to provide some basic information about your organization. This information will include your organization’s name, EIN, address, and fiscal or calendar tax year information. You will also need to include information regarding the programs your organization offers, officer information, and your group exemption number. 

Financial Information

You will be asked to provide your organization’s financial information when you file a 990 series form. Be ready to report all your revenue, expenses, and assets. Filing a nonprofit 990 series return provides a statement of your organization’s financial position to the IRS and the public.  

Is Your Account Up-to-Date? 

Before you begin filing a 990 series return with ExpressTaxExempt, you will need to create an account with us. You can do that by visiting ExpressTaxExempt.com and selecting “Register.”

If you already have an account, and your 990 series deadline is approaching, we suggest logging in to your account to verify the email address and password you are using are correct and to ensure the organization information is accurate,  If you forget your password, you can easily reset it by selecting “forgot password” and following the prompts provided to you in an email. If you have forgotten the email address used on your account, please contact the support team for assistance.  They are available via phone (704.839.2321), email ([email protected]), and live chat!

Once you’ve successfully created an account or logged in to your account, you can choose the form you need to file and begin!

Your FAQs Answered!

When preparing to file a 990 series return, we know you may have a lot of questions. ExpressTaxExempt has the answers! We’ve compiled some common questions organizations ask when they are filing a 990 series return and provided the answers. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Our live customer support team is available via phone, email, and live chat! We also have a helpful knowledge base on our website that you can visit for more helpful information.

What is my tax year? 

When filing a 990 series return, you will need to select the tax year your organization is filing the return for. Your organization will either run off a calendar year from January – December, or a Fiscal year. If you work off a fiscal year, select to start a return in the tax year that your Fiscal year begins for example if your tax year runs 7/1/2019-6/30/20 you would choose to start a 2019 return.

What if my form is rejected?

If your form is rejected, the IRS will send you a notice that your form was rejected and why it was rejected. You will be able to make any necessary corrections on your return and resubmit it to the IRS. With ExpressTaxExempt you can resubmit a rejected return for no additional cost. 

How will I know what Schedules I need?

When you e-file with ExpressTaxExempt using our interview-style filing, the necessary Schedules will be auto-generated based on the information you provide.

Am I filing a final return or initial return? 

Select “Final Return” if the organization is terminating and will not be filing another return for future years. 

Select “Initial Return” if it is the very first return your organization has ever transmitted, this is for new organizations.

What if I don’t want to share my return?

If you select manual return, you can print and share the document if necessary, but you do not have to share. 

Do I need an EFIN or PTIN?

You only need an EIN to file with ExpressTaxExempt. As an IRS-authorized e-file service provider, we will e-file your 990 return for you.


ExpressTaxExempt is here to help nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations meet their Form 990 series deadlines quickly and easily. If you have a November 15th 990 series deadline, start filing your return today with ExpressTaxExempt!

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