Disclaimer: We are not tax professionals. These are suggestions only. Please check with your group’s State or National Office or with a tax professional for definitive answers. If you need to start at the very beginning, please read What is a Form 990/EZ?
All Tax-exempt organizations must file their income, expenses and other financial information via a Form 990 every year. If your organization has gross receipts under $50,000, you may file a very simple e-Postcard called a 990-N. If you take in less than $200,000 in gross receipts and less than $500,000 in total assets, you must fill out the 990-EZ. Organizations that exceed the 990-EZ limits must file a 990.
Because this information is generally available for public inspection, it’s kind of a big deal. If you have a financial start date of July 1, you may be struggling with this over the next few weeks. That’s why we’ve provided this list of IRS Form 990 FAQs and helpful hints. You may also contact us for a free cheat sheet, even if you’re not a customer.
Form 990 Dates
First note that the IRS numbers the year of your report as to when your financial year started, not when it ended. In all cases the reports are due 4 1/2 months after your year end closes.
- If your financial year runs 1/1/12 through 12/31/12 then your 2012 990EZ was due 5/15/13.
- If your financial year runs 7/1/12 through 6/30/13 then your 2012 990EZ will be due 11/15/13.
Form 990 Thresholds
Thresholds change every year. Refer to the IRS link below for specific information.
Generally speaking, for the 2012 reporting year, if your group’s gross income was $50,000 or less, then you can file the very simple 990-N online. In this case you won’t need to set up 990-EZ codes in MoneyMinder. But do note that this limit refers to GROSS income. If you had one fundraiser that brought in $50,500 and your expenses for it were $49,500, you would be over the $50,000 threshold.
Next, generally speaking if your group’s total income was $50,000 or over, but less than $200,000, and your total assets at the end of your financial year were less than $500,000, then you will need to file a 990-EZ.
Finally, If your group’s total income was $200,000 or over, you will need to file a 990. Note that MoneyMinder only deals with 990-EZ line numbers for the 990-EZ report. 990 reporters are on their own.
Using MoneyMinder Makes the Form 990 Easy
Each MoneyMinder Category has an IRS Form 990-EZ Income Line and an IRS Form 990-EZ Expense Line. Go to Setup > 990-EZ Settings. Choose the appropriate line number for each Category. You may do this at any time during the year.
When you are ready to look at your 990-EZ totals, go to Reports / 990EZ. MoneyMinder will list all of your activity for the year by 990-EZ number. If you have missed a Category, that activity will show up under No Income Line or No Expense Line. Just go back to Setup / 990-EZ Settings and correct it and rerun the report. Each line number will have a total that can then be entered into the appropriate box on the form.
Finally, please note that if you enter your 990EZ codes for your CURRENT year, then they will be copied over when we transfer your Headings and Categories to your NEW year. What often happens is that the codes are entered for LAST year because that’s the one that you are doing the report for. Take a few minutes now and put them in both LAST year and the CURRENT year. Next year’s treasurer will appreciate it!
Other Form 990 Tips
We have a free Form 990-EZ cheat sheet in Excel format that can help you decide where to put things. Contact us to request this.
Running late? You can request an extension. Go to irs.gov and search for Form 8868 in the box top right. An automatic 3 month extension is available, just for the asking. But you need to ask for it before your return is due.
Another great 501c3 / 990 resource is StayExempt.org