How to Fill Out your 2021 Form 990-EZ: A Line-by-Line Instruction- Updated October 18, 2022 - 8.00 AM - Admin, ExpressTaxExempt
Form 990-EZ (Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax) is filed by the organizations under section 501(c), 527, or 4947(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code (except private foundations) whose gross receipts are less than $200,000 and total assets less than $500,000 to report their annual information to the IRS.
Following a fiscal tax year?
This article shows you how to fill out your IRS Form 990-EZ with step-by-step instructions.
1. Instructions on How to Complete Form 990-EZ
Form 990-EZ contains 6 parts. Here are the instructions on how to fill out each part of the form.
Basic Information about your Organization
The IRS requires you to provide the following information about your organization.
- Box A - Start and end dates of the corresponding tax year
Box B - Purpose of the form (check if applicable)
- Address change
- Name change
- Initial return
- Final return/terminated
- Amended return
- Application pending
- Box C - Name and address of the organization
- Box D - Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Box E - Telephone number
- Box F - Group Exemption Number
Box G - Accounting method
- Box H - Check if the organization isn’t required to attach Schedule B
- Box I - Website
Box J - Tax-exempt status (check the applicable section)
- 501(c)() - mention the number
Box K - Form of organization
- Box L - Gross receipts
Some of the questions in Parts I - VI may require you to attach Schedule O.
If you have used Schedule O to explain any of the questions in that part, check the box at the top of each part.
Part I - Revenue, Expenses, and Changes in Net Assets or Fund Balances
This part is split into three subparts.
- Revenue (lines 1 - 9)
- Expenses (lines 10 - 17)
- Net Assets (lines 18 - 21)
Revenue (Lines 1-9):
You need to report your organization’s revenue generated from various sources.
Line 1 - 8:
- Enter the revenue generated from contributions, gifts, program service revenue, membership dues and assessments, investment income, gross income or loss from sales of assets and inventories, net income or loss from gaming and fundraising events, and other revenues.
- Enter the Total Revenue by adding lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5c, 6d, 7c, and 8.
Expenses (Lines 10 - 17):
Report all the expenses made by your organization during the corresponding tax year.
Line 10 - 16:
- Enter the expenses incurred on grants, benefits provided to members, salaries of your organization’s key personnel, payments made to independent contractors, rent, maintenance costs, the amount spent for publications, and other expenses.
- Enter the Total Expenses by adding lines 10 through 16.
Net Assets (Lines 18 - 21):
Report the value of your organization’s net assets.
Lines 18 - 20:
- Enter the value of net assets or fund balances at the beginning of the tax year. If there are any changes in the value between the beginning and end of the tax year, mention it and provide an explanation on Schedule O.
- Add lines 18 through 20 and enter the value of net assets or fund balances at the end of the tax year.
Part II - Balance Sheet
This part requires the organization to report the value of assets and liabilities at the beginning and end of the tax year.
There are 2 columns:
- Beginning of year
- End of Year
The organization should enter a value on both these columns for each line.
Lines 22 - 24:
- Enter the values of cash, savings, investments, properties owned by the organization, and other assets.
Lines 25 and 26:
- Enter the value of Total Assets and Liabilities.
- Enter the value of net assets or fund balances that should match the value of Line 21.
Part III - Statement of Program Service Accomplishments
Program service accomplishments are activities conducted by the organization that serves the organization's exempt purpose.
At the top of this part, mention your organization’s primary exempt purpose.
Lines 28 - 30:
- Describe any three of the largest program service accomplishments made by your organization during the corresponding tax year.
- If any other program services are conducted by your organization, mention them here and describe them on Schedule O attached.
- Enter the total expenses incurred on program service accomplishments.
Note: For each program service reported, section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations must enter the expenses incurred for that program service in the Expenses (28a - 31a) column.
For other organizations, this column is optional.
Part IV - List of Officers, Directors, Trustees, and Key Employees
This part contains a table that requires information about the people who worked as Officers, Directors, Trustees, and Key Employees anytime during the tax year.
The details required are:
- Name and title
- Average hours per week
- Compensation (Forms W-2/1099-NEC), if not paid, enter -0-
- Health benefits, contributions to employee benefit plans, and deferred compensation
- Amount of other compensation
What is Form W-2?
What is Form 1099-NEC?
Part V - Other Information
This part contains a series of “Yes” or “No” questions regarding the activities of your organization.
Lines 33 - 38:
- Mention if there are any significant activities not reported to the IRS previously and significant changes made to the organizing documents.
- Provide details about unrelated business income ($1000 or more), liquidation, dissolution, termination, or significant disposition of net assets, political expenditures, and 1120-POL filing requirements of your organization.
- Mention if the organization has borrowed or made loans to any of its personnel (if “Yes”, attach Schedule L)
Lines 39 and 40:
- Section 501(c)(7) organizations should enter the initiation fees, capital contributions, and gross receipts and Section 501(c)(3) organizations must enter the value of any excise tax imposed during the year under sections 4911, 4912, and 4955.
- Section 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and 501(c)(29) organizations should mention if they have engaged in an excess benefit transaction with a disqualified person and excise taxes imposed and reimbursed by the organization.
Lines 41 - 46:
- Provide details regarding state filing requirements, location of books and records, foreign financial accounts, and the amount of tax-exempt interest (Section 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable).
- Mention if the organization has a controlled entity and is engaged in any transaction with a controlled entity section 512(b)(13). (If “Yes”, attach Schedule R).
- Mention the organization involved in any political campaign activities. (If “Yes”, attach Schedule C).
Part VI - Section 501(c)(3) Organizations Only
As the name indicates, this part needs to be completed only by Section 501(c)(3) organizations.
Lines 47 - 49: (“Yes or “No” questions)
- Mention if your organization is involved in any lobbying activities and made any transfers to an exempt non-charitable related organization.
- Also, mention if your organization is a school described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) (If “Yes”, attach Schedule E).
- Provide the details of the five highest compensated employees in your organization (except officers, directors, trustees, and key employees) who received more than $100,000 as compensation.
- It consists of a tabular column (a-e) with the details same as Part IV. Mention the total number of employees paid over $100,000 on line f.
- Provide the details of the five highest compensated independent contractors in your organization who received more than $100,000 as compensation.
- The required details are the name and business address of each independent contractor(a), type of service (b), compensation (c), and the total number of independent contractors receiving compensation of more than $100,000.
- Describe your organization’s Schedule A requirement.
Signature and Paid Preparer:
The president, vice president, treasurer, assistant treasurer, chief accounting officer, or other corporate officers who are authorized must sign the return.
If Form 990-EZ is prepared by a paid preparer, their details can be provided.
2. Instructions about Form 990-EZ Schedules
The organizations that file Form 990-EZ may be required to provide additional information through various Schedules.
There are 8 Schedules available for Form 990-EZ to provide more information about the Organization. Missing to attach the required schedules may result in an incorrect filing, leading to IRS penalties.
- Schedule A - Public Charity Status and Public Support
- Schedule B - Schedule of Contributors
- Schedule C - Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities
- Schedule E - Schools
- Schedule G - Supplemental Information
- Schedule L - Transactions with Interested Persons
- Schedule N - Liquidation, Termination, Dissolution, or Significant Disposition of Assets
- Schedule O - Supplemental Information to Form 990
3. How to File 990-EZ electronically?
Get Started with ExpressTaxExempt For a Hassle-Free Filing of Form 990-EZ!
Being one of the leading IRS-authorized e-file providers, ExpressTaxExempt can make your filing of Form 990-EZ simpler and safer. Our incredibly helpful features are all you need to complete your Form 990-EZ previously and promptly.
Here is how you can file your Form 990-EZ with ExpressTaxExempt:
Step 1: Add Organization Details
Add your organization's name, EIN, address, and primary officer details. And then, choose Form 990-EZ to e-file.
Step 2: Choose Tax Year
ExpressTaxExempt supports the current and the previous years' filing. Choose the tax year for which you need to file Form 990-EZ and proceed.
Step 3: Complete Form 990-EZ Details
Provide all the information about your organization's revenue, expenses, and other required information in Form 990-EZ
Step 4: Review your Form Information
After completing all the required information, review all your Organization information to proceed further.
Step 5: Transmit directly to the IRS
Once you review all the information, you can transmit Form 990-EZ to the IRS.