If you run a non-profit organization, it’s important to know that generally tax-exempt non-profits are not required to pay federal taxes, but most do have to file an informational return with the IRS called a Form 990. This form allows the IRS and the public to evaluate your non-profit’s operations. It also includes information about your group’s mission, programs, and finances.

Filing an informational return is much different from ]link id=2419]filing taxes as an individual[/link] or even as a business. At Steward Ingram & Cooper PLLC, we help non-profit organizations like yours complete their informational return.

We also offer the following services to our non-profit clients:

  • Audited financial statements
  • Reviewed or compiled financial statements
  • Preparation of the Form 990 series of returns
  • Assistance with budgets
  • Internal control consulting
  • Bookkeeping

We are proud to serve clients in clients in Durham, Raleigh, Cary, Garner, Wake Forest, Wilson, and surrounding areas.

Filing Taxes as a Non-Profit Organization

For non-profit organizations, your Form 990 is more than just a tax return. It’s an overview of your financials and it highlights your organization’s achievements throughout the year. It also details any potential conflicts of interest, board member and staff compensation, and avoidance of fraud.

If you are a tax-exempt non-profit organization, you should know that some organizations are exempt from filing a Form 990.

What Organizations are Exempt from Filing a 990?

  • Most religious organizations, including churches, religious schools, and missionary organizations
  • Subsidiaries of non-profits are exempt because their financial information is reported in the parent organization’s 990
  • Government corporations or state institutions
  • Non-profits that are unincorporated or incorporated at the state level but don’t plan to apply to the IRS for tax-exemption

If you are unsure if your organization is required to file, the team at Steward Ingram & Cooper PLLC can guide you.

Does My Exempt Organization Have to File a Return?

There are some exceptions, but most tax-exempt organizations are required to file an annual information return with the IRS, which is part of the 990 series of returns.

Multiple Versions of Form 990

If you are filing Form 990, there are different versions for different organizations. These are:

  • Form 990
  • Form 990-EZ
  • Form 990-N
  • Form 990-PF

Form 990: With 12 pages and 16 supporting schedules, Form 990 is the most extensive in the series. An organization may not necessarily be required to complete all 16 schedules but should pay careful attention to the questions on the core form to determine which schedules will be required.

Form 990-EZ: This is a shorter, simpler version of Form 990 with only 4 pages.  Filers of the 990-EZ may still be required to complete some of the 16 schedules associated with the 990.

Form 990-N (ePostcard): Organizations that are not required to file a Form 990 or 990-EZ should file form 990-N, also called ePostcard.  This form must be filed electronically with the IRS through their website at irs.gov.  Organizations eligible to file a 990-N may choose to file form 990 or 990-EZ instead.

Form 990-PF: Form 990-PF is an annual information return that private foundations must file.  This return provides financial and other relevant information about the foundation.

The Durham tax professionals at Steward Ingram & Cooper PLLC can help determine which version of Form 990 is best for your non-profit and assist you in filing.

FAQs About When to File the 990

When is Form 990 Due?

The deadline for tax-exempt non-profits is the 15th day of the 5th month after your fiscal year ends. The due date for the Form 990 series of returns is the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of the organization’s accounting period.  For calendar-year organizations, the due date is May 15th.  For fiscal years ending on June 30, the due date is November 15th. Your tax-exempt status will be revoked if you don’t file on time for three years in a row.

What are the Filing Requirements?

The filing requirements depend on total gross receipts and total assets.

  • File form 990-N if annual gross receipts are normally less than $50,000.
  • File form 990-EZ if gross receipts are less than $200,000 and total assets are less than $500,000
  • File form 990 if gross receipts are $200,000 or more and total assets are $500,000 or more.
  • File form 990-PF if the organization is a private foundation,

Can My Organization Request an Extension?

The IRS allows an automatic 6-month extension to file forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF.  Use Form 8868 to request an extension. There is no extension allowed for the 990-N.

What Happens if Form 990 is not Filed or Filed Late?

If an exempt organization fails to file Form 990 for 3 consecutive years their tax-exempt status will be revoked.  If a return is filed late, the IRS will assess penalties unless the organization can provide a reasonable cause for the late filing.

Non-Profit Tax Planning: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to file a tax return for my nonprofit?

Yes, as a nonprofit in Durham you do still have tax obligations. While most nonprofits don’t pay taxes, you will still need to file a return to provide the IRS with detailed documentation to keep your tax-free status. We will prepare your Form 990 so you can easily share information with your board of directors and donors as well as file your informational return. 

What is Form 990?

Your Form 990 is an overview of your finances. It highlights your organization’s achievements throughout the year and reports any potential conflicts of interest, board member and staff compensation, and avoidance of fraud. 

However, there are many types of 990 forms that can impact your filing status. The nonprofit tax planning professionals at Steward Ingram & Cooper PLLC can help determine which form is best for your nonprofit. We can even help you file your nonprofit tax return!