Can My Nonprofit File a 990 Postcard?

If you own or manage a nonprofit business, you want filing 990 tax forms to be as uncomplicated as humanly possible.


Should you file a 990 or 990-EZ? How about a 990-PF (for private foundations)? Or can your nonprofit file the 990-N, also called the 990 postcard?

Poring through tax information to figure out which form to file can be a hassle.

After all, it’s not like you can drop everything you’re juggling day in and day out and focus exclusively on tax filing.

When you run a larger nonprofit, you may have more resources and personnel to handle taxes. But if you don’t have resources to give, you’ll have to either work tax filing into your busy schedule or hire an outside accountant.

Depending on the size of your organization, a professional may charge $1,000 or more to file for you. Filing a 990 shouldn’t be this complicated—or expensive.

What if it were simpler than that? What if we told you that filing your 990 and maintaining your tax-exempt status can be straightforward and harmless?

To begin with, you should figure out which 990 form the IRS requires your nonprofit to file.

When you visit the IRS website and look at the different qualifications for each form, you may feel a bit overwhelmed.

File990 has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process, and we offer electronic filing services for 990-EZ and 990-N tax forms.

But enough about us. Let’s delve in and figure out what exactly a 990 postcard is, and if your nonprofit organization qualifies for filing.

File990 has your back when you want to know, Can My Nonprofit File a 990 Postcard?

Let’s talk about how your organization qualifies.

Does Your Nonprofit Make the Right Revenue for a 990 Postcard?

There are certain requirements the IRS lays out for filing a 990 postcard, as well as the other 990 tax forms.

The biggest indicator for your organization of which form to file is your gross revenue.

For the 990 postcard, that means your organization earns $50,000 or less in gross receipts per tax period.

The postcard is the simplest 990 to file and complete electronically, with no physical version of the form. That’s because this form is reserved for nonprofits from which the IRS needs the least amount of information when filing.

If your nonprofit has gross receipts above $50,000 but under $200,000, plus assets under $500,000, you can file the 990-EZ form. If your numbers are at or above that threshold, file the full 990.

And, of course, if your organization is a private foundation, you must file the 990-PF. This is true for all private foundations regardless of your financial standing.

To recap: If you’re at or under the $50,000 mark in gross revenue receipts, and not a private foundation, your nonprofit likely qualifies for filing the 990 postcard.

But there are a few other factors that come into play when deciding if this form is right for you.

What Kinds of Nonprofits Should File the 900 Postcard?

Nonprofit 990 Postcard Kinds

In most cases, your organization must file a 990 form at the close of each tax year, or you’re in danger of losing your status as tax exempt.

However, there are some types of organizations that shouldn’t file a 990 form. According to the IRS, these include:

  • Organizations included in a group return
  • Churches, as well as their auxiliaries, conventions and associations
  • Political organizations
  • U.S. government instrumentalities
  • Group legal services plans
  • Pre-1880 Armed Forces groups
  • ERISA sec. 4049 trusts
  • Qualified tuition programs
  • Split-interest trusts
  • Charitable trusts treated as private foundation

Groups that must file a form other than a 990 include private foundations, employee benefit trusts, black lung benefit trusts, and religious organizations.

In addition, church organizations should check Code section 501(d) to decide if they must file a form 1065 or not.

You may say to yourself, “None of these fit the description of my organization. We’re a simple nonprofit that banks gross receipts at or under $50,000.”

That’s great! Congratulations. You qualify for filing the 990 postcard.

But wait. There’s one more thing for you to consider. Do you know when and how to file?

Here’s When and How to File

You can’t file your 990 postcard too soon, or else the information you provide to the IRS won’t reflect your tax year correctly. But if you forget to file, you’ll be in danger of losing your nonprofit’s tax-exempt status.

That’s why having a handle on tax deadlines is crucial.

To determine your organization’s tax calendar, check your bylaws, federal tax-exempt documents, your EIN application, or a copy of a prior year’s tax forms.

Your 990 postcard is due each year on the 15th day of the 5th month after your tax year ends.

You also can’t file until after your tax year ends.

It’s a lot to digest, but hopefully it’s starting to make some sense.

However, sometimes it’s just too much of an uphill battle to handle all the finer details of 990 tax filing internally.

That’s where File990 comes in.

Our electronic tax filing system makes filing a 990 postcard or 990-EZ easier than ever.

We help your nonprofit organization file at a transparent, affordable cost, and remind you when it’s time to file, ensuring you never miss a tax deadline.

We also offer an enterprise option to track and manage multiple chapters’ filing for lager nonprofits on one easy platform.

We know parsing through all the data about 990 tax forms and deadlines can be overwhelming. Our goal is for you to never worry about filing and maintaining your tax-exempt status again.

Do you have questions about filing your 990 or how we can help? Get in touch with File990.

If you want to see what we have to offer, we encourage you to give our 990 tax filing services a try.

If your nonprofit qualifies to file a 990 postcard or 990-EZ, we’re happy to help.