The Taxpayer First Act, enacted July 1, 2019 requires tax-exempt organizations to electronically file information returns and related forms – but the legislation offers a reprieve for small exempt organizations. The reprieve allows a postponement of the electronic filing requirement, with the IRS accepting either paper or electronic filing of Form 990-EZ for tax years ending before July 31, 2021.

For tax years ending July 31, 2021 or later, however, tax-exempt organizations will be required to file electronically.

Organizations filing a Form 990, 990-PF or 990-N still must file their returns electronically.

Why the IRS Encourages Electronic Filing

The IRS is encouraging organizations that may qualify to paper file the Form 990-EZ, to electronically file if possible, due to the delays in processing paper returns in the service centers.  This is especially important for those organizations that did not file their past years returns to avoid auto-revocation.

Who Can File a Form 990-EZ?

Form 990 filing requirements are based on revenue. Organizations that have gross receipts of less than $200,000 or that have less than $500,000 in assets are eligible to file the Form 990-EZ – and for tax-exempt organizations that normally have gross receipts of less than $50,000, there’s an even simpler postcard form – the Form 990-N.

For larger organizations (those with gross receipts of $200,000 or more, or more than $500,000 in assets), the full Form 990 must be filed.

Another Angle on the Form 990

While you may view the Form 990 filing as yet another task to check off a seemingly endless to-do list, it can actually be an incredibly valuable resource. It provides a unique opportunity to showcase your organization’s story – your mission, your programs, and how you’re improving the community through your organization’s work. In short, it’s an opportunity to attract new donors and grantors to your organization.

Get the Full Story on Form 990

Get details on how a well-done Form 990 can actually help your organization grow, as well as insights into filing and registration requirements by state, what exactly “unrelated business income” really is, and what board members need to know about the tax returns of any organization they’re serving as a board member in this video with Barnes Dennig’s Non-Profit Tax Director Paula Hume.

IRS Resources

Did you know for small to mid-sized tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charities the IRS provides free interactive online training?  This training is geared to help officers, board members, and volunteers maintain the organization’s tax-exempt status.

Learn More

Are you getting the most out of your Form 990? Find out by requesting a free consultation with one of our non-profit tax pros. Or, learn more about the many ways Barnes Dennig helps non-profit organizations. Contact us with your questions – we’re here to help.