The Internal Revenue Service (also known as the IRS) is the agency that controls the financial activities of all types of organizations regardless of their status. Even if your entity is free from paying federal, state, or local taxes (in other words, tax-exempt), you must report information about your income and financial transactions each year. Such organizations prepare papers different from those that are to be imposed with taxes.
Essential documents for foundations of such type include:
They reveal the information about financial details and activities (expenses, assets, etc) and supported organizations. If you meet the requirements under section 501(a) for tax-exempt organizations, be ready to file one of the above-mentioned forms. Which type you need depends on the gross amount of assets and the value of gross receipts. For instance, if your total amount of assets exceeds 500,000 USD or the value of gross receipts is more than 200,000 US dollars, choose Form 990. We advise hiring a legal professional who can assist you in completing such a complex form.
There exist 16 Schedules for Form 990, which give additional information about organizations reporting their income. One of the essential schedules is schedule A. It is a legal form required to file with IRS along with Form 990 (or 990-EZ) to provide detail about public charity status (if you have been granted one) or public support. Thus, if your answer to the first question of Part 4 in the revenue form is “Yes,” do not forget to attach Schedule A.
If you want to know whether or not you need to attach Schedule A, check out if you fall under the descriptions in the following sections:
The tax agency’s official website has information about all tax-exempt organizations. If you need to check the status of any company or other foundation, you are allowed to do it online. Another way of checking is by phoning the agency.
Legal forms, especially tax revenues, may seem rather difficult to complete and submit. Having taken into consideration all the issues and questions that might arise, we have prepared a comprehensive guide to the form under discussion. We encourage you to read the article till the end and act in accordance with our instructions.
Once you have filled out the form (see the guide below), you are to file it with the Revenue Service. The tax agency offers you great opportunities to avoid wasting your time on printing and sending paper forms. The agency has designed a very convenient advanced e-file system (also referred to as MeF), which allows you to submit the form within seconds and to get the acknowledgment very fast. Besides, it assists the IRS in organizing their data, identifying documents, and storing a great number of files. Another benefit of the electronic system is that it can prevent you from submitting a form with mistakes and paying fees for incorrect filing.
Due to its complex structure and a great number of sections, Form 990, to which Schedule A is usually attached, is one of the most difficult forms to complete. Therefore, organizations that are required to file this form and Schedules must do it in a digital form.
The IRS has rather strict rules regarding deadlines. You cannot file the form at any time you want. The most appropriate period for filing the documents is within five months and fifteen days after your accounting period (either calendar or fiscal) finishes. If you follow the calendar year (which starts with January 1), you are to send Form 990 or 990-EZ and all the attached schedules by May 15. If the deadline coincides with a holiday or weekend day, you are to submit the papers on the next business day. Mind that if you fail to meet the deadline, the tax agency is likely to impose penalties on you and make you pay for each day of your delay.
If the period is not enough for you, obtain Form 8868 to request the extension of the period (if you submit the form before the due date, you can file the papers within the next six months after the original deadline. When completing the application form, insert the required information about your organization and request and enter code 01 (for Form-990 filers). It can be sent either electronically or via regular mail.
Other IRS Forms for Charities and Nonprofits
Here, we have collected some other IRS forms that might be valuable to your organization. Knowing the peculiarities of these forms will help you prove your legal operation in the eyes of the IRS.
The traditional way of obtaining the template is by visiting the IRS official website, where you can find not only the relevant form but also instructions on how to complete it. However, if you are reading this article, there is a quicker way to get Schedule A — by using our highly-developed and automized form-building software. Our PDF editor allows users to find the necessary form and fill it out online or create their own template (the second option is not advisable when dealing with tax forms). While completing the paper, you can check the information for accuracy. Making a mistake no longer leads to re-writing the entire document. You can correct the mistake online in the place where you have made it.
Once you have the form before your eyes, you can notice a well-organized document structure: the form consists of eight pages and is divided into six parts. Each document part (except for Part 6) comprises several sections distinguished by the alphabet letters in their names.
We encourage you to read the guide below to complete the form successfully. However, to make sure that you understand all the instructions in the form and what details you need to provide, we recommend turning to a professional legal adviser who can clarify all the issues.
Identify the Filer
First and foremost, at the top of the document (right below the title), you are required to enter the full legal name of your organization and the ID number of the employer (also referred to as EIN), which typically consists of nine digits. Entering the EIN is a compulsory action. If you still do not have one, you can apply online on the Service’s website or make a request by phone or mail.
Ensure that the legal name is the same as the one that was written in the requested tax return report (Form 990 or 990-EZ). If you enter the name correctly, the tax agents will not have problems with identifying the papers.
Indicate the Type of Your Organization
Part 1 of the document takes up the entire first page. It contains 12 major points (or lines), each stating one reason your entity belongs to public charity foundations. You are to choose one of these boxes. If there is more than one reason you have this status, you can state them in Part 6, which is a section for additional information. The list of reasons includes but is not limited to churches, schools, hospitals, governmental units, and other foundations operating for public safety or benefit.
Describe the Type of Your Supporting Organization
If you select line 12 as the reason for your public charity status, you must also complete lines 12a-12g. Points a-d are used to define the exact type of organization that supports other entities. There are four types in total:
Each type is described in the form. Besides, you are provided with instructions on your further actions when you choose a certain type.
On line 12f, insert the number of organizations that receive your support. Complete the table below by giving basic details about these organizations (the full legal name, the EIN, the type, the total amount of support, etc.).
Complete Part II (for specific types of organizations)
Like Parts III-V, this part is mandatory to fill out only if you check certain boxes in the previous part. Thus, proceed to this part if you have selected boxes 5, 7, or 8 (you are either a community trust, a foundation supported by a governmental unit, or an organization operated to benefit non-private colleges and universities.
This part is divided into three sections listed below:
Write the amount of public support (grants, gifts, tax revenues, services received from governmental units, etc.) in the given years (from 2016 to 2020) and then enter the total value.
Put in information about your gross income or net income, which is not related to business activities. On line 10, include the amount of income from other sources not mentioned in the previous lines. Insert the total amount of support and gross receipts from actives related to business.
This section is necessary to fill out only if you tick the box on line 13 of the preceding section.
Fill Out Part III (for specific organizations)
The structure of this part is almost identical to the one in Part II. The only difference is that it contains one additional section. Therefore, the part is divided in the following way:
Like in Part II, in this part, the IRS gives clear instructions on which sections you must fill out and which ones you must leave blank (and under what conditions). Read carefully the information provided in each section.
Proceed to Part IV (only for supporting organizations)
As the step suggests, this part is completed only by organizations best described by line 12 on the first page of the document.
Part IV contains five sections meant for different types of supporting organizations. However, lines 1-11 in Section A, containing a short questionnaire, must be filled regardless of the type.
Mind that Section A ends on page 5.
Questions in Section B must be answered by organizations defined as Type I. Like in the other sections, you are allowed to give “Yes” or “No” answers.
The next section consists of only one question and is completed by Type II organizations.
Fill out Section D only if your organization belongs to the Type III group according to an exemption letter.
The last section in this part is required for organizations that are described as Type III non-functionally integrated foundations.
Complete Part V (for organizations defined as Type III non-functionally integrated)
Before you proceed to the part sections, you can indicate whether or not you meet the Integral Part Test. Check the box at the top of the document if the statement is related to you. In other cases, complete the following sections to prove that you satisfy the distribution requirements:
Add Information in Part VI (if needed)
Above the blank lines, you can find the list of sections and parts of the documents in which you might need to add more information but do not have enough space. This part is included specifically for such cases. If you need to provide any explanation or details, especially for your answers in Part IV, please do it in the given section.