form 990 instructions

All features, services, support, prices, offers, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Because the IRS needs these forms to supervise nonprofits, it is ill-advised to refuse — or even forget — to file a Form 990. Just like in grade school, it’s better to check your work before you hand it in than to wait for someone else to notice your mistakes.

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The Consequences of Failing to File Form 990

A public charity described in section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) supported by a supporting organization described in section 509(a)(3). An organization, the primary function of which is the presentation of formal instruction, and which has a regular faculty, a curriculum, an enrolled body of students, and a place where educational activities are regularly conducted. An examination of an organization’s financial records and practices by an independent accountant with the objective of assessing whether the financial statements are plausible, without the extensive testing and external validation procedures of an audit. Any contribution of a qualified real property interest to a qualified organization exclusively for conservation purposes. A “qualified real property interest” means any of the following interests in real property.

All filers must provide narrative responses to certain questions (for example, Part VI, lines 11b and 19) on Schedule O (Form 990). Certain filers must provide narrative responses to other questions (for example, Part III, line 4d; Part V, line 3b; Part VI, lines 2–7b, 9, 12c, and 15a–b, for “Yes” responses; Part VI, lines 8a–b and 10b, for “No” responses; and Part XII, line 3b, for a “No” response). All filers can supplement their answers to other Form 990 questions on Schedule O (Form 990). The organization must answer “Yes” if it liquidated, terminated, dissolved, ceased operations, or engaged in a significant disposition of net assets during the year.

2020 Form 990 and instructions contain notable changes

If a change in address occurs after the return is filed, use Form 8822-B to notify the IRS of the new address. Before filing Form 990, assemble the package of forms, schedules, and attachments in the following order. For special instructions regarding answering certain Form 990 questions about parts or schedules in the context of a group return, see Appendix E. If you are filing a 2023 Form 990, you are required to file electronically. Use the 2023 Form 990 to report on the 2023 calendar year accounting period.

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