What is tax form 990? Who needs to file it?
The 990 is the tax form the IRS requires all small tax-exempt organizations to file annually. An organization that makes $50,000 or less in gross income may file the electronic form 990-N. For those that grossed more than $50,000 or those who wish to file a paper form, they must complete the 990 or 990-EZ.
National HQ is required by law to annually notify the IRS of the names and addresses of each of our units. The IRS then expects to receive an annual tax filing from each unit. This means that EVERY Post, Council and Department must file its own 990 every year.
If an echelon does not file, the IRS revokes our tax-exempt status. It’s that simple. We must file our taxes to retain our status as a 501c4, Veteran Service Organization.
The easiest method of filing the 990: Electronic 990-N
The electronic form 990-N is filed directly through the IRS’s website. To do so, a Post officer (or a trusted individual the Post designates) must register on their website. This is a ONE-TIME registration. You will not need to register every year. When you register, you are registering AS A PERSON, not as the echelon itself. Meaning, you will register your name, personal email address, and security questions/answers unique to you.
Once you have registered as a user, you then add any small tax-exempt organization to your tax filing list. For example, if you file the taxes for your Post, as well as the Senior Group at your Synagogue, you can add both entities to your profile. Then, when you log-in to file the taxes, you simply choose which entity you are filing for.
What is nice about this system is that you can pass along the task of tax-filing to the next Post officer without worrying about log-in and user name information. The next person would simply register as a new user and then add the Post to his/her account.
To add your echelon to a user’s account, you will need its Federal Tax ID Number (EIN). If you do not have the EIN, call Mara Sherman at National HQ, (202) 448-5411.
Deadline for annual filing of the 990
Form 990 is due every year by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your tax year. Your echelon’s tax year might be a calendar year or it might be a fiscal year (for example, July 1 – June 30), it depends on how you filed the paperwork with the IRS.
The National Finance Board Committee requires a copy of your electronic receipt of filing or, if you file with paper forms, a copy of your filing. The copy is due by June 1, 2017. Send your most recent filing prior to June 1, 2017. Thus, if your 2016 tax year ends June 30, 2017, then the most recent filing you can send is for tax year 2015. Email the copy to or mail directly to National HQ.
Helpful Items for Filing
National HQ will host a 990-N tutorial April 4, 2017 at 1:00pm Eastern. In the meantime, download last year’s First Time Users tutorial guide here.
If you have additional questions about filing the 990N, please contact National Finance Board Committee at or (202) 448-5411.