What’s a Form 990 or Form 990-EZ?

Each year, public charities (and most other nonprofits) are required to file “Form 990” information returns with the IRS. Failure to file can result in loss of nonprofit status.

Form 990 and Form 990-EZ provide a wealth of information about the charity’s operations and finances. Unlike an individual return, a charity’s Form 990 or 990-EZ is public information (and a charity is required to make its return available to you on request).

  • Charities with greater assets and/or revenues must file Form 990.
  • Charities with lesser assets and/or revenues file Form 990-EZ (an abbreviated version of Form 990).
  • Charities with annual revenues less than $50,000 file Form 990-N (a very simplified form).

A charity can choose to file a higher level return (for example, a charity with annual revenues less than $50,000 could file a Form 990-EZ or even a Form 990).

Note: Churches and government agencies are exempt from these annual filings.

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