Key Employees and Independent Contractors in Tax-Exempt Organizations

When filing IRS Form 990 or Form 990-EZ, tax-exempt groups usually have to report compensation of officers, directors, trustees, key employees, highest compensated employees, and independent contractors in Part VII of the tax return.
This section of the 990 form may come across as a bit tricky because each exempt organization can have different variables regarding members and employees such as no compensation, members with multiple roles, small payment thresholds, or even no significant key employees.

However, the IRS requires some information about the people working within your organization. Here are a few pointers to use:

Highest Paid Officers & Key Employees
Regardless of whether your current officers, directors, or trustees receive compensation or not, you’re going to need to list them. You’re also required to list any current key employees that made at least $150,000 during the year and the current top five highest paid employees making over $100,000.

Important: Your highest compensated employees are those within your organization who do not hold any officer or key employee titles like Treasurer, Secretary, or Director.

In some cases, you may have to list former members if they were active during the filing year, but left before the year was complete. List former officers, key employees, or highly paid employees who made at least $100,000. You can report former directors and trustees that were making over $10,000.

Independent Contractors
If your organization contracted any outside workers, the IRS requires that you report independent contractors that received at least $100,000 in compensation for services. The amounts must be the gross payments which can include expenses and fees – even if you don’t separately report the spending costs to your organization.

IRS Information Forms: W2 Online Filing and 1099 Online Filing is simple now with streamlined features from our sister site, You transmit information returns for your employees or contractors directly to the IRS quickly than paper filing. Select our Postal Mailing option to have copies automatically sent to your recipients.

With e-filing 990 forms, you only need to report the total number of volunteers – there’s no need for individual names or details. Under particular circumstances, you don’t have to report any compensation paid to volunteer officers, directors, or trustees – speak with a tax professional for more details.

List your organization’s employees quickly and easily with If you have any questions about entering key members or contractors, call our U.S. – based support team at 704.839.2321, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or email us anytime with [email protected].

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