Generally, an annual return (Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF) is required to be filed by every tax exempt organization unless an exception applies. Click here for a list of exceptions to the filing requirement.
Generally, any organization that can file Form 990 or 990-EZ may also file Form 990-N if they meet the filing requirements.
The table below should be used as a reference to identify the Code section that may apply to an exempt organization type and the annual return that may be required to be filed. The Code section number is required to be included on the annual return when it is filed.
A preparer who is uncertain as to the Code section under which an organization's exemption falls should refer to the organization's determination letter from the IRS.
|Type of Exempt Organization||IRC Section||Annual return required|
|Corporations Organized Under Act of Congress||501(c)(1)||None|
|Title Holding Corporations for Exempt Organizations||501(c)(2)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Charitable, Religious, Educational, Scientific, Literary, et.al. Organizations||501(c)(3)||990 or 990-EZ or 990-PF|
|Civic Leagues and Social Welfare Organizations||501(c)(4)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Labor, Agricultural, and Horticultural Organizations||501(c)(5)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Business Leagues, Chambers of Commerce, etc.||501(c)(6)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Social and Recreation Clubs||501(c)(7)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Fraternal Beneficiary Societies and Associations||501(c)(8)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Associations||501(c)(9)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Domestic Fraternal Societies and Associations||501(c)(10)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Teachers’ Retirement Fund Associations||501(c)(11)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Local Benevolent Life Insurance Associations, Mutual Ditch or Irrigation Companies, Mutual or Cooperative Telephone Companies||501(c)(12)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Cemetery Companies||501(c)(13)||990 or 990-EZ|
|State Chartered Credit Unions, Mutual Reserve Funds||501(c)(14)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Mutual Insurance Companies or Associations||501(c)(15)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Cooperative Organizations To Finance Crop Operations||501(c)(16)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Trusts||501(c)(17)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Employee Funded Pension Trusts (Create Before 6/25/1959)||501(c)(18)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Organizations of Past or Present Members of the Armed Forces||501(c)(19)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Black Lung Benefits Trusts||501(c)(21)||990 or 990-EZ ***|
|Withdrawal Liability Payment Funds||501(c)(22)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Veterans' Organization (created before 1880)||501(c)(23)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Trusts described in section 4049 of ERISA||501(c)(24)||990 or 990-EZ|
|Title Holding Corporations or Trusts for Multiple Parent Corps||501(c)(25)||990 or 990-EZ|
|State-Sponsored High-Risk Health Coverage Organizations||501(c)(26)||990 or 990-EZ|
|State-Sponsored Workers' Comp Reinsurance Organizations||501(c)(27)||990 or 990-EZ|
|National Railroad Retirement Investment Trusts||501(c)(28)||990 ****|
|CO-OP Health Insurance Issuers||501(c)(29)||990|
|Religious and Apostolic Associations||501(d)||1065|
|Cooperative Hospital Service Organizations||501(e) *||990 or 990-EZ|
|Cooperative Service Organizations of Operating Educational Organizations||501(f) *||990 or 990-EZ|
|Amateur Sports Organizations||501(j) *||990 or 990-EZ|
|Child Care Organizations||501(k) *||990 or 990-EZ|
|Charitable Risk Pools||501(n) *||990 or 990-EZ|
|Credit Counseling Organizations||501(q) *||990|
|Hospital Organizations||501(r) *||990|
|Farmers' Cooperative Associations (obsolete as of 04/2019)||521(a)||1120-C|
|Political Organizations||527||1120-POL, 990 or 990-EZ|
* - Organizations whose exemption falls under §§ 501(e), 501(f), 501(j), 501(k), and 501(n) file as 501(c)(3).
** - Credit counseling and debt management organizations, described under I.R.C. § 501(q), will file as 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4), as determined by the IRS.
*** - Prior to 2021, Blank Lung Benefits Trusts filed Form 990-BL.
**** - In addition to Item I in the Heading, only required to complete Part VII including the names and addresses of the officers, directors, trustees, and key employees, along with their titles, compensation, and hours devoted to their positions.