file nonprofit taxes - form 990

If you are a tax-exempt 501.c.3 organization it is time to file your annual tax returns (forms 990-N, 990-EZ, 990-PF, or 990). The deadline to do this is actually about 30 days longer than it is for your individual tax returns. So, if your fiscal year ended on December 31st, your nonprofit taxes are not due until May 15th. Isn’t that nice? (see a full list of tax due dates on the IRS website).

Knowing which form to use is the first step:

990-N: Small tax-exempt organizations that gross less than $50,000 in a year. It is filed electronically. It is as simple as filling out a postcard.

990-EZ: For non-profits that have gross receipts of less than $200,000 or total assets of less than $500,000.

990: For organizations that have gross receipts greater than $200,000 or total assets greater than $500,000.

990PF: This is an information return for private foundations. This would include exempt private foundations, taxable private foundations and organizations with private foundation status.

How to File


Many nonprofits that have to fill out a 990 opt to hire an accountant to do the paper work. This is obviously an easy way to get your taxes done but not without a cost. The nonprofit I worked for had our 990 prepared for us at a cost of $1,200 – $1,500 each year.

Online Services

There are a number of do-it-yourself (DIY) services out there for nonprofits (similar to turbo-tax). The one I used for my 990-N was It was quick, easy and FREE!. also offers a DIY form 990-EZ ($99).

There are many other online DIY services out there:

For more on e-filing your non-profit tax return, visit the IRS website.

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