Form 990-EZ

Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax

Fulfilling tax obligations is a crucial aspect for nonprofits in the United States. Among the various IRS forms, the 990-EZ form stands out for smaller tax-exempt organizations. This guide delves into the essential aspects of the 990-EZ form, offering a detailed overview, understanding instructions, and tips for accurate completion.

What is a 990-EZ Form?

The IRS Form 990-EZ, titled "Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax," is a simplified tax form designed for small to medium-sized tax-exempt organizations. It allows qualified nonprofits to report their annual income, expenses, and operational activities to the IRS in a less detailed manner compared to the full Form 990.

Purpose and Significance

  • The 990-EZ form ensures transparency, allowing the public to evaluate the operations and financial health of an organization.
  • It helps the IRS assess whether the organization continues to meet the tax-exemption criteria.

Components of the Form

  • The form covers sections on revenue, expenses, net assets, and program services accomplishments.
  • It includes schedules for reporting on specific activities and financial arrangements.

Who Needs a 990-EZ Form?


  • Organizations with gross receipts less than $200,000 and total assets less than $500,000 at the end of the year.
  • Tax-exempt under section 501(a) and classified under 501(c), 527, or 4947(a)(1).


  • To maintain tax-exempt status and avoid penalties, eligible organizations must file Form 990-EZ annually.


  • The form is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the organization's fiscal year ends.

How to Read and Understand 990-EZ Form

Understanding the 990-EZ form requires familiarity with its segments and terminology. The form is divided into four primary parts:

  • Revenue: Includes gifts, grants, dues, and similar amounts received.
  • Expenses: Lists costs associated with program services, management, and fundraising.
  • Net Assets: Reflects the organization's financial standing at the beginning and end of the year.
  • Program Service Accomplishments: Describes the organization’s mission and achievements.

How to Get Your 990-EZ Form


  • The form is accessible online and can be filed electronically or via paper submission.

Direct link to the IRS page for downloading 990-EZ forms.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Filing the 990-EZ form requires attention to detail to avoid common errors:

  • Incorrect Financial Reporting: Ensure all financial data is accurate and reconciles with other financial statements.
  • Incomplete Schedules: Certain activities require filling out supplemental schedules. Do not overlook these additional forms.
  • Filing Late: Monitor deadlines closely and consider e-filing for quicker processing.

990-EZ Form and Tax Filing

The 990-EZ form plays a vital role in the tax obligations of qualifying nonprofits:

  • It helps maintain tax-exempt status by providing the IRS with required financial and operational information.
  • Impacts potential refunds by showcasing careful stewardship of resources.

FAQ Section

1. Can an organization file Form 990-EZ instead of the full Form 990? Yes, if it meets the gross receipts and total assets criteria.

2. What penalties can arise from not filing a 990-EZ form on time? The IRS can impose penalties, including fines and loss of tax-exempt status.

3. Can the public access a filed 990-EZ form? Yes, filed forms are public documents for transparency purposes.

4. What is the difference between Form 990-EZ and Form 990-N? Form 990-N is for organizations with gross receipts normally $50,000 or less, whereas 990-EZ is for larger organizations.

5. Are there exceptions to who needs to file a 990-EZ form? Yes, certain organizations such as churches and state institutions have different filing requirements.


Filing the IRS Form 990-EZ is a responsibility that nonprofit organizations should not take lightly. Accurate and timely filing ensures compliance, maintains tax-exempt status, and fosters transparency. While this guide offers a comprehensive overview, complexities can arise.

Consultation with a tax professional is advisable for specific situations or confusion.

Always refer to the IRS website or a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information. provides general information and software tools for tax preparation; however, it does not offer personalized tax, legal, or professional advice. It's recommended to consult with a qualified professional for specific advice related to your financial situation.