Filing Requirements FAQs

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A tax-exempt organization that is not required to file Form 990 because its gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less must file an annual Form 990-N (e-postcard). The Form 990-N must include:

  • Legal name and mailing address
  • Doing Business As (dba) names
  • Name and address of a principal officer
  • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
  • Website address - if the organization has one
  • Confirmation that the organization's annual gross receipts are $50,000 or less
  • If applicable, a statement that the organization has terminated or is terminating (going out of business)

See Internal Revenue Code section 6033(i).

For annual periods beginning after 2006, failure to file Form 990, Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N (e-postcard) for three consecutive years will result in revocation of exempt status as of the filing due date for the third return.

An organization revoked under this Code section must apply for reinstatement and pay a user fee, whether or not the organization was originally required to file for exemption. Reinstatement of exemption may be retroactive if the organization shows that the failure to file was for a reasonable cause.

Additional information with respect to section 6033(i) is available at www.irs.gov/charities/.

Certain organizations are not required to file an annual information return. See Form 990 Instructions PDF, Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or 990-EZ, for a description of the organizations not required to file.

An organization’s Form 990 is due by the 15th day of the fifth month following the end of its tax year. So, for a calendar-year organization, Form 990 is due on or before May 15.

An organization can file for an automatic three-month extension of time to file Form 990. Organizations can also request an additional three-month extension if the original three months was not enough time, but this extension is not automatic. You must show reasonable cause for the additional time requested.

To request an extension, an organization must file Form 8868 PDF, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return.

Yes. E-file is available for:

  • Form 990;
  • Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax;
  • Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return;
  • Form 1120-POL, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations; and
  • Form 7004, Application for Automatic 6-Month Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns
  • Form 990-N (ePostcard) can only be filed electronically. There is no paper form.

All you have to do is use IRS-approved software. You can find a list of IRS-approved software, including those offering free e-file, at http://www.irs.gov/efile, and then click on e-file for Charities and Nonprofits.

E-filing is required for certain large tax-exempt organizations. For details, see the website.

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