Small Organizations Can Be Eligible for IRS 990-N Returns

While most nonprofits are required to file at least one of two IRS annual information returns, small tax-exempt organizations may fall under an exception and be eligible to file an annual electronic notice Form 990-N, otherwise known as an “e-Postcard.”

Typically, if your nonprofit has annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less, it will fall under the annual information return exception and be eligible to file Form 990-N. If you choose, you could file the full Form 990 or the Form 990-EZ short form return, but if you are eligible and decide to file the Form 990-N, here are a few things you need to know:

  • As the name suggests, e-Postcard must be filed online; there is no paper form that can be mailed to the IRS when remitting a Form 990-N.
  • Form 990-N can be filed using the IRS filing system located on the IRS Charities and Nonprofits page or can be filed with an approved e-file service provider.
  • You will need assistance from the IRS to set up an account online if you use the IRS filing system.
  • Late Form 990-N submissions can only be submitted using an approved e-file service provider. There is no penalty when filing a late Form 990-N, however, an organization that does not file its 990-N for three consecutive years will have its tax-exempt status automatically revoked.
  • Form 990-N can be filed as soon as the day after your organization’s year-end, but is due by the 15th day of the fifth month following your organization’s year-end. There is no extension allowed when electing to file Form 990-N.

Gross receipts and filing eligibility

The IRS defines gross receipts as all amounts received without subtracting costs or expenses. However, a nonprofit can have in excess of $50,000 in gross receipts for a given year but still be eligible to file a Form 990-N if one of the following scenarios exists:

  • The newly formed organization has received or donors have pledged to give $75,000 or less during its first tax year.
  • The organization has been operating less than three years and averaged $60,000 or less in gross receipts during each of its first two tax years.
  • The organization has been operating for at least three years and averaged $50,000 or less in gross receipts for the prior three tax years.

Signing in to the IRS filing system

As of August 2022, the sign-in process has changed for accessing the IRS filing system. New users must create an account with, the new IRS credential service provider. Existing users are able to sign in with their previous IRS login or they can create a new account on the platform. As an extra layer of security, requires multifactor authentication in order to access their filing system. The previous filing process is still in place once you have accessed the filing system.

Organizations will need the following information to complete the Form 990-N:

  1. Name and address of the organization

  2. Employer Identification Number

  3. Name and address of the organization’s principal officer

  4. Website, if applicable

  5. Tax year period

  6. Confirmation that the organization’s gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less

  7. Confirmation if the organization has terminated or is terminating

Once you have submitted the filing, you will be able to print a confirmation page of your submission and pending status to maintain for your organization’s records. Your submission will update once the filing has been accepted or rejected.

Please reach out to the Nonprofit Solutions Group for information, or if you would like more information on how HBK can help you comply with your IRS filing requirements.

About the Author(s)

Teal is a Manager in the HBK office in Sarasota, Fla. She specializes in tax preparation and assurance services for nonprofits and leads the firm’s Tax-Exempt Organizations Tax Specialists Group. Additionally, she does tax preparation for individuals, businesses, trusts, and estates, and has experience with employee benefit plans and the construction and manufacturing industries. As a part of HBK’s REVEAL team, she oversees recruiting efforts for the Sarasota office. Teal began her accounting career with HBK in 2016. For more information, contact Teal at 941-957-4242 or

Hill, Barth & King LLC has prepared this material for informational purposes only. Any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or under any state or local tax law or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the matter.