Getting to Know Schedule A

Whether you’re new to the Form 990 Series or could do it with your eyes closed at this point (which, if you can, my hat’s off to you), it’s important to stay informed on exactly what you’re filing each year with the IRS. And if you’re filing a Form 990 or a Form 990-EZ, you’re probably filing a Schedule A along with it. But if you’re not 100% sure what Schedule A is all about, you might be hesitant to jump right in or may even wonder if it’s really the right thing for you (which, chances are, it is).

So what is Schedule A?

Think of Schedule A as the IRS just trying to get to know you better: So, what is it you do? Really? That sounds so interesting! How do you go about doing that? Well, do you have anyone helping you, you know, financially? Tell me about them in detail! What about your mission statement? Surely you’ve got a mission statement…I’d love to hear it!

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Okay, so they’re kind of out there for just getting-to-know-you questions. The IRS comes on strong, but it means well. Maybe it’ll help to put you more at ease if you get to know a little bit more about Schedule A:

Schedule A is not the exclusive type; it’s used by all tax-exempt organizations recognized under 501(c)(3). But, rest assured that when you’re with it, it’s only got eyes for you. Schedule A is also every bit as nosy as it presents itself to be, requiring information about what type of organization you are, such as whether you’re classified as a government, educational, community, or grassroots organization. And before you can go all the way with it, it wants to know where you’ve been: who have you received support from and in what forms (grants, gifts, etc.)?

Just think of Schedule A as a very invasive first date. And, while that might not be your cup of tea, as the saying goes, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to get to a prince. The same applies here: you have to fill out a lot of information – Schedule A included – to maintain your organization’s tax-exempt status.

So if you have any questions about Schedule A, Form 990, or any of the other schedules, or just need a pep talk before jumping right into the date, consider Express990 your own personal support team. We’re here by phone (704-839-2321) and live chat ( Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST. We’re also available 24/7 through email at

Now go get em, tiger!

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