How to Electronically File a Form 990 Tax Return

Everything you need to know about e-filing your 990 series return.

Electronically filing a Form 990 tax return

Every year, tax-exempt organizations must file a Form 990 tax return. The IRS mandates that all tax-exempt organizations e-file Form 990 returns. Here’s everything you need to know about Form 990 and electronic filing.

What is a Form 990?

Form 990 series returns are annually filed by tax-exempt organizations at the end of their tax period. The returns provide the IRS as well as the public with information about the organization’s financial activities. It is important for organizations to share this information to ensure their tax-exempt status is not being abused.

There are different types of Form 990 returns. Organizations choose which form to file based on their gross receipts and the type of organization they are. For example, Form 990-N is typically filed by smaller organizations with gross receipts of less than $50,000, and Form 990-PF is typically filed by private foundations. ExpressTaxExempt currently supports the filing of these forms:

  • Form 990– Filed by organizations with gross receipts greater than or equal to $200,000 or total assets greater than or equal to $500,000
  • Form 990-NFiled by organizations with gross receipts of less than or equal to $50,000
  • Form 990-EZFiled by organizations with gross receipts less than $200,000 or total assets less than $500,000
  • Form 990-PFFiled by private foundations and used to calculate the taxes based on investment income and report charitable distributions
  • Form 990-TFiled by tax-exempt organizations that have a gross income of $1,000 or more from unrelated businesses
  • Form 8868Used by organizations to apply for an automatic 6-month extension on their nonprofit tax returns
  • CA Form 199Filed by non-profits in California to report information like expenses and finances on a state level
  • Form 8038-CPused by issuers (generally tax-exempt organizations are elected by the federal government to issue the bonds) to claim payments from the federal government representing all or a portion of interest payable on:
    •  Build America bonds 
    • New clean renewable energy bonds
    • qualified energy conservation bonds
    • qualified zone academy bonds
    • qualified school construction bonds
    • recovery zone economic development bonds
  • Form 1120-POLFiled by organizations with political organization taxable income exceeding $100 for the year

Some organizations may be required to fill out additional forms, called Schedules, to provide more information about their activities.

How do I E-file my Form 990?

Electronic tax filing sounds difficult, but with ExpressTaxExempt, every step of the process is clearly defined. You can even determine which form is right for you using our What Form to File tool. After you decide on a form, you can create an account and choose between our interview-based or form-based filing options. From there, input your organization’s information and transmit it to the IRS. 

ExpressTaxExempt includes many unique features to enhance your user experience, including live support in the form of chat, email, or phone and an internal audit system that checks your form for IRS errors. If you are required to submit a Schedule, it will automatically be included with your forms to fill out.

ExpressTaxExempt provides its customers with real-time updates on their forms through email and/or text notifications and uses cloud-based software to securely store your information. Our website also includes a variety of how-to and informational videos and blogs. You can check it out here

When is my return due?

Most Form 990 returns are due by the 15th day of the 5th month following the end of your tax year. This includes Form 990, 990-N, 990-EZ, 990-PF, and CA Form 199. Form 990-T and 1120-POL are due by the 15th day of the 4th year after your tax period ends. Form 8038-CP is due no later than 45 days before the relevant interest payment date, and Form 8868 must be filed before the deadline for the original form you are requesting an extension for.

As of July 2019, the IRS mandates that all Form 990 tax returns be filed electronically. ExpressTaxExempt is a helpful software that allows you to electronically file your returns efficiently. Are you ready to start filing your organization’s 990 return? Create your free account with ExpressTaxExempt today!

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