As an alternative to filing either Form 990 or Form 990-EZ, a charitable organization may be eligible to file Form 990-N, aka the "e-Postcard", to satisfy its annual reporting requirement. While a copy of the information included in Form 990-N is available to print in TaxSlayer Pro, Form 990-N is only filed electronically, never in paper form. Form 990-N is due by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of the organization's tax year. It cannot be filed until after the tax year ends.
A tax-exempt organization is generally eligible to file Form 990-N if its annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less. The term "gross receipts" means the total amount received from all sources during the organization's annual accounting period unreduced by costs or expenses. The gross receipts test is met in any of the following three scenarios depending on the age of the organization.
- For an organization that has been in existence for 1 year or less, if it has received, or donors have pledged to give, $75,000 or less;
- For an organization that has been in existence between 1 and 3 years, if it has averaged $60,000 or less in gross receipts during each of its first two tax years;
- For an organization that is at least 3 years old, if it has averaged $50,000 or less in gross receipts for the immediately preceding 3 tax years (including the year for which calculations are being made).
An organization required to file either Form 990 or 990-PF but files a Form 990-N instead risks automatic revocation of its nonprofit status.
Completing Form 990-N requires entering either seven or eight bits of information only:
- The organization's legal name. (Note: A charitable organization generally reports a name change on its next annual return, whether Form 990 or 990-EZ. If the organization's legal name has changed since its last annual filing but is filing Form 990-N, it must notify the IRS and have received from the IRS an affirmation letter prior to filing Form 990-N.)
- The organization's mailing address.
- Any other name under which the organization operates, i.e., its "doing business as" name.
- The organization's 9-digit federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). (Do not enter the state-assigned tax exemption number, if it has one, exempting the organization from state sales and use taxes.)
- The name and address of a principal officer.
- The accounting year, whether on a calendar year or fiscal year. (A calendar year is 12 months from January 1 to December 31. A fiscal year is 12 months ending in any month other than December.) Calendar year is the default when a return is started.
- Indication that the organization meets the gross receipts test.
- If the organization has terminated, this must be indicated.
- If the organization has a website, this can be optionally indicated. (This is useful information for current or potential donors researching the organization.)
Certain exempt organizations cannot file Form 990-N:
- Tax-exempt organizations with annual gross receipts that are normally greater than $50,000, i.e., not fitting any of the above three scenarios, must file Form 990 or 990-EZ.
- Private foundations must file Form 990-PF.
- IRC section 527 (political) organizations required to file an annual exempt organization return must file either Form 990 or 990-EZ.
- Section 509(a)(3) supporting organizations must file Form 990 or 990-EZ except for the following:
- integrated auxiliaries of churches.
- exclusively religious activities of religious orders.
- organizations whose gross receipts are normally $5,000 or less and that support a section 501(c)(3) religious organization.
To create a Form 990-N in TaxSlayer Pro, from the Quick Menu select:
- 990 - Exempt Organizations
- 990 Program or
990-EZ Program - either form can be chosen, bearing in mind that if Form 990-N is not filed then a complete Form 990 or 990-EZ will need to be filed.
- Enter the EIN and answer Yes to creating a new return.
- Enter the organization's name and address.
- In the Name & Address menu, complete the remaining information as needed. (E-mail address is optional but in any case is not included with the 990-N when e-filed.)
- When finished, exit to the Heading Information Menu.
- If the organization does not operate on a calendar year, select Fiscal Year and enter the beginning and ending dates.
- In the Heading Information Menu, select Other Information.
- Select E-file return on a Form 990-N, e-Postcard. Answer Yes to the eligibility question, then Yes to the confirmation question.
- If the organization wishes to indicate its website in the filing, select Website and enter the website domain, e.g., www.theorganization.org.
- If this return was started as a 990-EZ, you are finished entering the required information. If this return was started as a 990, also enter in the Other Information Menu the Address of Principal Officer, after which you are finished entering the required information.
- From the Main Menu of the return select Mark Return Electronic. You will be asked to confirm that you wish to e-file Form 990-N. Answer YES. No other information needs to be entered beyond what is populated in the Electronic Filing Menu.
After exiting the return, indicate that it is complete and it will be in the e-File Transmission Table ready to be e-filed.
Note: If you choose to file Form 990-N, Form 990 or 990-EZ (whichever was chosen at the outset) won't be available for printing since it was not prepared.