Beat the Tax Heat with Cool Form 990 Tips

As the summer season approaches, temperatures are heating up and things are getting H.A.W.T. Hot! If your tax return deadline falls within the summer months, then you’re well aware that the heat is on with the scrambling of documents and receipts in order to successfully file on time. We understand how filing an IRS form can set the pressure on high, but you don’t have to rise beyond your boiling point… (Are these heat references doing anything for you?)

Anyway, here are six tips to filing a Form 990 that’ll help keep your cool and get you back to enjoying the finer things of Summer.

  • File the Right Version of Form 990 for your Tax Period

Be sure that you’re filing the appropriate form for your organization’s tax period. There are three main forms in the 990 series for tax-exempt organizations:

  • Form 990 (Long Form) – For tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts greater than or equal to $200,000 and total assets greater than or equal to $500,000.
  • Form 990-EZ – For tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts less than $200,000 and total assets less than $500,000.
  • Form 990-N (e-Postcard) – For small tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts less than $50,000.

By filing the improper form for your tax period, you could be subjected to penalties.

  • Double-Check your Identification Information

Make sure your organization’s name and address are current and that your Employer Identification Number (EIN) is accurate. Also, be sure to indicate the correct Internal Revenue Code Subsection for your organization, which can be found in your determination letter.

  • Complete Parts I through XII

Reduce your chances of having a rejected return by fully completing Parts I through XII of your tax return; all organizations that file a Form 990 must do this.

  • Be Sure to Sign the Return

Without a proper signature in Part II, Signature Block, your form will be considered as incomplete and late, which could cause you to incur penalty charges. An officer of the organization must be the one who signs the form. An officer can be the president, vice president, treasurer, assistant treasurer, chief accounting officer, or tax officer. For a trust, the authorized trustee must sign.

  • Don’t Include Unnecessary Personal Identifying Information

Your completed Form 990 must be made public by yourself and the IRS and, by putting personal information not required by the IRS on the return, you could be inadvertently contributing to identity theft.

  • Determine and Complete Each Required Schedule

You can determine which schedules are needed by completing Part IV, Checklist of Required Schedules, of your tax return. Make sure that you’ve fully completed and have attached all required schedules. When completing these schedules,

  • Carefully read the instructions for each required schedule
  • 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 the number zero when appropriate

For a detailed breakdown of schedules for Form 990 (Long Form), check out

Make your summer tax filing even more cooler by e-filing your Form 990 (Long Form) with Express990, your friendly, most experienced, IRS authorized e-file provider. We work closely with the IRS in order to provide you with a safe, secure, and accurate e-filing process that will save you time and money.

For professional assistance with e-filing a Form 990 (Long Form), contact the live experts at our Rock Hill, South Carolina headquarters by phone (704-839-2321, Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm EST), email ([email protected]), or live chat (

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