Form 990-T

Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return

Navigating the maze of tax forms and regulations is often seen as a daunting task. Among these, the 990-T tax form is a critical document for certain tax-exempt organizations, trusts, and in some cases, individuals. This comprehensive guide will provide an in-depth look into the 990-T form, ensuring you understand its purpose, who needs to file it, and how to correctly fill it out to stay compliant with IRS requirements.

What is a 990-T Form?

The 990-T form, officially known as the "Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return", is a tax document used by tax-exempt entities to report and pay income tax on their unrelated business taxable income (UBTI). This form serves a dual purpose:

  • It enables tax-exempt organizations to report gross income from business activities unrelated to their exempt purpose.
  • It computes the tax owed on that income.

Components of the Form

The 990-T form is divided into various sections, including:

  • Income Statements: Where gross income, deductions, and taxable income are reported.
  • Deductions: Specific deductions allowed from gross income.
  • Tax Computation: Where the tax on net income is calculated.

Who Needs a 990-T Form?

Not all tax-exempt organizations must file a 990-T form. The criteria include:

  • Tax-Exempt Organizations that have $1,000 or more in gross income from an unrelated business activity.
  • IRA Plans with UBTI over $1,000.
  • Trusts, including Charitable Trusts, if they generate gross income from unrelated businesses.

Obligations and Deadlines

Filing obligations and deadlines may differ slightly based on the organization's fiscal year, but generally, the 990-T must be filed by the 15th day of the 5th month after the organization's accounting period ends.

How to Read and Understand 990-T Form

Understanding the 990-T form involves familiarizing oneself with the specific sections and terminologies used, such as:

  • Unrelated Business Income (UBI): Gross income from an activity not related to the organization's exempt purpose.
  • Directly Connected Expenses: Expenses directly related to the generation of UBI.

How to Get Your 990-T Form

The most up-to-date 990-T form can be obtained directly from the IRS website. For convenience, here's a direct link to the IRS page for downloading 990-T forms.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common errors include:

  • Incorrectly calculating UBTI: Ensure that all income and expenses are correctly categorized and calculated.
  • Missing Deadlines: Mark the filing deadline on your calendar to avoid late filing penalties.


  • Keep detailed records of all unrelated business activities throughout the year.
  • Consult the IRS instructions for the 990-T form for guidance on specific line items.

990-T Form and Tax Filing

The 990-T form plays a crucial role in the tax filing process for tax-exempt organizations and entities. It impacts tax compliance and potential refunds by ensuring that income from unrelated business activities is correctly reported and taxed, maintaining the organization's tax-exempt status under IRS regulations.

FAQ Section

1. What is Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI)? UBTI is income from a trade or business that is not substantially related to the organization's exempt purpose or function.

2. Can I e-file the 990-T form? Yes, the IRS accepts e-filing for the 990-T form for certain tax-exempt organizations.

3. What are the penalties for not filing the 990-T on time? The IRS imposes penalties for late filings, which can include a percentage of the unpaid tax.

4. Can deductions be claimed on the 990-T form? Yes, deductions directly connected with carrying on an unrelated trade or business can be claimed.

5. Where can I find help with filling out the 990-T? The IRS provides instructions for the 990-T form, or you can consult a tax professional specializing in tax-exempt organizations.


Filing the 990-T form is an important responsibility for many tax-exempt organizations, and understanding the nuances of UBTI is key to compliance. By diligently recording unrelated business income and expenses, filing accurately, and consulting with professionals when needed, organizations can ensure they meet their tax obligations without compromising their tax-exempt status.

Remember, tax laws and requirements can change, so it's critical to stay informed about the latest IRS regulations and guidelines. For complex situations or uncertainties, seeking advice from a tax professional is highly recommended.

Ensure accurate filing by referring to these official resources:

By understanding and correctly utilizing the 990-T form, tax-exempt organizations can navigate their tax obligations with confidence, maintaining their focus on their mission-critical activities.

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.