Form 990 Public Inspection: What Should Nonprofits Know?

Things nonprofits should know about public inspection of form 990

Filing a 990 series return is one of the most important aspects of operating a nonprofit organization. Failing to file can result in the automatic revocation of an organization’s tax-exempt status. 

What is the purpose of Form 990?

Form 990 is the tax-exempt return form that tax-exempt organizations must file with the IRS on an annual basis. It asks for information about an organization’s finances, such as revenue, expenses, assets, and liabilities, as well as its program service accomplishments and employee details. 

The requirement for nonprofits not just ends with the e-filing of 990 forms, as they also need to facilitate public inspection of those forms. 

What is public inspection?

All 990 returns must be made available for public inspection. This means that they should be accessible to the general public for a three-year period beginning with the due date of the 990 form or if later, the date of filing. All parts of the form must be available, including additional Schedules. 

The IRS has a database of tax-exempt organizations, wherein Users can find an organization’s exempt status, determination letters, pub. 78 data, and 990 series returns. 

Why is public inspection required?

The IRS requires these forms to be publicly available for multiple reasons. 

  • First, the IRS uses these forms to ensure that an organization remains tax compliant and not abusing its exempt status. 
  • Additionally, Form 990 may be required for state-level income tax filing. 
  • Another reason this information must be accessible is that it is a great source of information about an organization. The public can learn about the organization’s purpose and the activities it participates in to support that purpose. 
  • They can also gain information about the organization’s key personnel, employees, and board members. 

However, organizations are not required to publicize the personal information of employees, such as addresses.

Meet Your 990 Filing Requirements with Tax 990!

It’s very important to file your 990 for many reasons, not only to remain compliant with the IRS but also to improve the recognition of your nonprofit among the public. 

Tax 990 is here to assist you in filing your 990. We support the e-filing of all 990 forms, such as, Form 990-EZ, 990, 990-N, 990-PF, and 990-T. We include the required 990 Schedules with your form for free. 

We also support the extension Form 8868 in case you need more time to file your 990 returns. We also have helpful blogs, videos, and guides to simplify your tax preparation. 

Get ahead of your deadline today with Tax 990!