990 Filing Thresholds for Most 501(c)(3) Organizations

Organizations with gross receipts normally less than $50,000 must file Form 990-N (but may choose to file a complete Form 990 or Form 990-EZ). In prior years only organizations with gross receipts normally less than $25,000 could file the 990-N.

Organizations with gross receipts greater than $50,000 and less than $200,000 and total assets less than $500,000 must file Form 990-EZ or a complete Form 990.

Organizations with gross receipts greater than $200,000 or total assets greater than $500,000 must file Form 990. Private foundations must file Form 990-PF.

More information, including links to all forms, click here.

IRS Form 990-N: E-Filing for Small Organizations

If your nonprofit had previously been exempt from filing a Form 990 with the IRS, you are most likely now required to file a Form 990-N.

A provision in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires small nonprofits to file the Form 990-N if they had been exempt from filing the Form 990 because their annual gross receipts were $25,000 or less (the threshhold has been since raised to $50,000). The due date for filing the form is the 15th day of the fifth month after the close of an organization’s tax year.

While there is no penalty for late filings, those organizations that fail to file a Form 990-N for three consecutive years will automatically lose their tax-exempt status. If your nonprofit did not file for the past three years, the final deadline to file a 990-N and not lose your tax-exempt status was October 15, 2010.

The IRS has more about the 990-N at http://1.usa.gov/1e0Fl7f.

Fast-Track Reinstatement

In January 2014, the IRS announced that organizations whose exempt status was automatically revoked for failure to file annual information returns (Form 990) for three consecutive years may apply within 15 months of their revocation notification to have their status reinstated retroactively.

Revenue Procedure 2014-11, at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-14-11.pdf, provides four options for applying for reinstatement and explains how the new procedures apply to pending and recently approved applications.

The process is available only for organizations eligible to submit the Form 990-EZ or the Form 990-N (also known as the e-postcard), typically, organizations with smaller operating budgets. Organizations ineligible to submit these abbreviated IRS forms may apply for status reinstatement, but must complete additional steps, such as submitting a statement of “reasonable cause” explaining why the organization did not submit an annual notice for at least one year. Reinstatement beyond the 15-month window is also possible with additional documentation. More information is at http://1.usa.gov/1m59Eto.

These articles originally appeared in the October 2008 issue, numerous issues during 2010, January 2011 and February 2014 issues of New York Nonprofits, the monthly publication of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc. www.npccny.org
February 2014, Updated July 26, 2017