How to Determine Which 990 Series Form to File For Your Organization

Find out which forms are meant for which organizations and how to determine which form suits you!

Determine which 990 series form to file for your organization

There are a variety of 990 series forms intended for different types of organizations and income amounts. How do you determine which form is right for your organization? Keep reading to find out!

Types of 990 series forms offered by ExpressTaxExempt

ExpressTaxExempt currently supports the following 990 series forms:

  • Form 990: The long form intended for reporting information about a tax-exempt organization’s financial and program activity. This form is usually filed by organizations with gross receipts of $200,000 or more.
  • Form 990-N: The e-postcard intended for smaller nonprofits with gross receipts of $50,000 or less.
  • Form 990-EZ: The shortened version of Form 990 intended for organizations with more than $50,000 in gross receipts but less than $200,000.
  • Form 990-PF: 990 return intended for private foundations to determine tax based on investment income.
  • Form 990-T: 990 return intended for tax-exempt organizations to report unrelated business income.
  • CA Form 199: State-specific tax-exempt return for organizations in California
  • Form 8038-CP: Return intended for Issuers of Qualified Bonds to claim payments from the federal government.
  • Form 1120-POL: Income tax return intended for organizations with political organization taxable income exceeding $100.

Additionally, you can file Extension Form 8868 with ExpressTaxExempt if you need a 6-month extension to file your form.

Can I file a different form?

Although Forms 990, 990-N, and 990-EZ are intended for organizations with varying amounts of income, there is some leeway. If your organization qualifies for 990-N filing, meaning it has a gross receipt amount of $50,000 or less, you can still choose to file a 990-EZ or long Form 990. 

Similarly, if you qualify for 990-EZ filing by having a gross receipt total between $50,000 and $200,000, you can elect to file a long Form 990 instead. However, if your organization has a gross receipt total over the limit of a form, you cannot file that form. For example, if your organization’s gross receipts total $100,000, you can file a Form 990-EZ or long Form 990, but you cannot file a Form 990-N. 

If your organization is classified as a private foundation, you must file Form 990-PF. You cannot choose to file Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N regardless of your organization’s income.

What if I filed a different form last year?

If you previously filed a version of the form and wish to file a different version this year, you can do so as long as your organization’s gross receipts do not exceed the form limit. For example, if you filed Form 990 last year, but you qualify to file Form 990-EZ instead, you can choose which to file. 

Getting started  

If you’re still struggling to decide which form to file, don’t worry! ExpressTaxExempt offers a handy tool to help you determine what’s right for your organization. Just choose your organization type and gross receipts, and we’ll tell you which form you’re required to file. From there, you can create a free account and get started!

ExpressTaxExempt has tons of exclusive features designed to help you navigate your filing process. Sign up to gain access to step-by-step guides and instructions on how to file, live customer support, internal audit checks, free auto-generated Schedules, and more. Head to to make the most of your filing today!

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