You’re likely the financial officer for a 501(c)(3) or other nonprofit corporation. Because you have less than or equal to $50,000 in total gross receipts during this tax period, you don’t have to fill out one of the longer versions of the 990 form.
This makes keeping your tax-exempt status a lot easier.
The more you make in total gross receipts or assets, the bigger the form gets, requiring either the 990-EZ or the 12-section monster full 990 form.
But for nonprofits that are smaller or have fewer resources, a big form can be a massive, unnecessary hassle.
Enter the e-postcard, descending from the heavens.
This form is short, straightforward, and completely online—and you can make things even easier and more reliable by using an online tax filing specialist.
More on that below.
First, let’s talk about where to find the 990-N e-postcard, what exactly it is, if you are filing the right form, and how tax filing experts like File 990 can help.
Let’s start with Where to Find the 990 Electronic Postcard for Tax Filing.
Here’s Exactly Where to Find the Form
Yes and no. The form itself is pretty straightforward.
It asks for a few simple bits of information:
- the tax period for which you’re filing
- whether your organization has shut down or has gross receipts less than or equal to $50,000
- the name and address of your organization
- your principal officer’s name
- your website
- your Employer Identification Number (EID)
That’s pretty much it. But keep in mind that the IRS sometimes amends forms or requirements for filing, and you need to keep up every tax cycle with any rule changes.
For example: The 990-N used to be filed through the Urban Institute, but a few years ago it moved to the IRS website.
That means you must register with IRS.gov the first time you use it to file this form.
Chances are that you’re already registered.
Nonetheless, it’s important to make sure you take this step before preparing to file.
Here’s a Breakdown of the Electronic Postcard and Other 990 Forms
The IRS has specific guidelines about which 990 form to file, whether you should file a different tax form altogether, or don’t need to file.
You want to make extra sure that your nonprofit is filing the right form. Misfiling means you must go back and make corrections.
If you miss deadlines you put yourself in danger of facing fines and loss of nonprofit status.
The 990-N E-Postcard
As we said above, if your gross receipts are less than or equal to $50,000 when you file, you should be able to file the electronic postcard version of the 990.
This goes for many nonprofits, especially 501(c)(3)s that gross this amount.
However, there are exceptions. Make sure you don’t have to file one of the following ways instead.
The 990 and 990-EZ
If your organization brings in more than the limit for the electronic postcard this tax year, or in future years expands financially, you’ll need to know about the other 990 forms. Here’s a breakdown.
- If your nonprofit grosses more than $50,000 but less than $200,000 in total receipts or less than $500,000 in total assets, you file a 990-EZ.
The EZ form is an abbreviated version of the 990, and it can be filed electronically.
- If your nonprofit grosses more than or equal to $200,000 in total receipts or total assets more than or equal to $500,000, you file a full 990 form.
The 990 is a much more in-depth form, and must be filled out completely, including any additional schedule forms, and filed by mail or electronically.
Make sure you file the correct form for your nonprofit to avoid penalties and ensure you keep your tax-exempt status.
When Not to File a 990
There are a few instances where you don’t file the forms listed above.
- Private foundations must file a 990-PF.
- Employee Benefit Trusts file a Form 5500.
- Black Lung Benefit Trusts file a 990-BL.
- Religious groups listed under IRS code 501(d) file a Form 1065.
Check to make sure yours isn’t one of the nonprofit types who’re exempt from filing.
Also, if your nonprofit has multiple chapters, or is itself a chapter of a parent organization, your tax filing might differ somewhat.
Once you’re sure your organization falls under the requirements of filing a 990-N e-postcard, you just file with the IRS and forget about it, right?
This form is comparably much simpler than other tax forms, but there’s an even easier way to deal with taxes once and for all.
Here’s Why to Hire a 990-N E-Filer
You might be thinking: I got this. Why do I need an e-filer? I can file myself for free.
And sure, that’s true. We have the utmost confidence in your abilities as a financial officer. But a certified e-filer brings some crucial qualities to the table.
- File 990’s e-filing services are secure.
We use bank-level security to protect your sensitive information, and we guarantee its safety when you file through us. We use the same level of security when we file to the IRS.
- E-filing keeps you on schedule.
With all the moving parts a nonprofit financial officer must handle day to day, month to month, keeping track of tax form deadlines requires extra resources on your part. We keep your fiscal period on file and remind you when it’s almost time to file.
- With a 990-N, you have less to worry about—but why worry at all?
It’s still a form you must file, keep track of, and potentially communicate to the IRS about. Why not let an e-filer like File 990 do the heavy lifting for you? We keep track of all the data you file so it only takes seconds the next time you file.
- We centralize your tax needs.
Our enterprise option allows you to track the filing for different chapters or components and remind them when to file. Or, if you file for your 990-N components, you can use our group filing tool to take care of all your filing at once.
File 990 is an industry leader in nonprofit tax e-filing for the 990-N and 990-EZ forms. Check out our 990 e-filing pricing options.