How Technology Enhances the IRS Form 990 Filing Process

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Posted on September 24, 2018 by TaxBandits in Nonprofit Compliance.

Traditional paper filing for Form 990 can take hours to complete – fortunately, modern technology has provided a simplified e-filing process for exempt and nonprofit organizations to save time, securely file taxes online, and transmit nonprofit tax returns directly to the IRS. Here is how technology enhances the IRS Form 990 filing process.

The days of spending countless hours completing a Form 990 by hand are fading fast. E-filing IRS Form 990 is very simple; it can be completed in five steps or less. Before you begin e-filing for your organization, it is important to understand which version of the IRS Form 990 Series you are required to file.

There are four variations of IRS Form 990 included in the Form 990 Series. Each form provides information on specific types of exempt organizations. Select the appropriate 990 Form based on the following credentials:

  • Form 990-N (e-Postcard): Filed by tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts less than or equal to $50,000.
  • Form 990-EZ: Filed by tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts that come to less than $200,000 and $500,000 in total assets.
  • Form 990: Exempt organizations with more than or equal to $200,000 in gross receipts or total assets more than or equal to $500,000 typically file Form 990.
  • Form 990-PF: Filed by exempt & taxable private foundations as well as non-exempt charitable trusts which the IRS treats as private foundations.

E-Filing IRS Form 990 Series

Let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than starting your Form 990 and having to come to a screeching halt because you are unable to find an important piece of information. Staying organized and knowing what information you need prior to e-filing helps to keep things simple. Here is the required information needed to file IRS Form 990 nonprofit tax returns:

Form 990-N (e-Postcard)

Steps to File Form 990-N

  1. Enter organization Employer Identification Number (EIN) and review filing history
  2. Select filing year and review Form 990-N summary
  3. Pay and transmit directly to the IRS

Yes, you really can quickly file Form 990-N in just three simple steps!

Information Required to File Form 990-N

  • EIN
  • Tax year
  • Legal name and address
  • Various names of the organization (if applicable)
  • Name and address of a principal Officer
  • Website address (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of gross receipts of $50,000 or less
  • Written statement if the organization is going out of business

Form 990-EZ, 990, and 990-PF

General Steps to File Form 990-EZ, 990, and 990-PF

  1. Sign in or create your new account
  2. Add organization details
  3. Complete form interview process
  4. Review information and audit report
  5. Pay and transmit directly to the IRS

Information Needed to File IRS Form 990-EZ, 990, and 990-PF

  • EIN
  • Legal name
  • Fiscal year period
  • Current address
  • Contact number
  • Exemption type
  • List of officers and key employees
  • Prior year return
  • Contributions for the past 5 years
  • Other revenue details
  • Expenses
  • Investment income details
  • Numbers of employees, contractors & volunteers
  • Organization’s mission
  • Accomplishments for the year (grants paid, projects finished, etc.)
  • Donor advised fund information
  • Endowment funds information
  • Assets (art, historical treasures, etc.)
  • Policies
  • Details of activities

Why E-Filing Is Better Than Paper Filing

E-filing IRS Form 990 with an IRS-authorized e-filer removes the hassles of paper filing, and we don’t mean just papercuts. E-filing provides a simplified interview-style process for you to complete your return. Each return is also reviewed through built-in audits to ensure error-free filing. While many IRS Form 990 e-file services charge extra for required schedules, e-file providers such as TaxBandits automatically generate these and help you complete them while filing.

E-filing with a comprehensive software also helps to keep your organization in good standing with the IRS all year. Plus, when you file your Form 990, 990-N, 990-EZ, or 990-PF with TaxBandits, upon approval from the IRS, we will instantly send your nonprofit tax returns to GuideStar to be shown on their database. Instead of waiting months for your form to be processed and then transmitted, GuideStar will immediately publish your information once it is IRS approved.

Need an Extension to File Form 990?

If you have a lot on your plate and need more time to file, simply e-file a 990 extension.

Tax-exempt organizations can conveniently e-file Form 8868 and receive an additional six months of time to file IRS Form 990. There is one catch. Extension Form 8868 must be filed by the original due date of your organization’s 990 filing deadline. Follow the steps below to e-file a tax extension for your organization today.

Steps to E-File Extension Form 8868

  1. Enter the organization’s basic information such as name, EIN, address, and contact number.
  2. Select the IRS Form 990 which you are applying for the extension.
  3. Enter the organization’s tax-year period.
  4. Choose your extension type and provide information for the signing authority.
  5. Review your return and fix any errors.
  6. Pay and transmit to the IRS.

Easy, right? Begin e-filing and forget about IRS penalties or the headache of filing nonprofit tax returns for hours. Get started today to experience how easy it is e-filing IRS Form 990!


Austin A.H. Jefferson is Content Marketing Manager for TaxBandits. TaxBandits is an authorized IRS e-file solution designed with small businesses and nonprofit organizations in mind.