IRS Form 990 Redesign 2008

IRS made major changes to Form 990 and filing requirements for non-profits for returns filed in 2009.

Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, is filed by many public charities and other exempt organizations. In 2007, the IRS began a significant redesign of the form. The revised form is to be used for the 2008 tax year (returns filed in 2009). Some of the information previously required has been eliminated or revised; the new Form requires information not previously required by the prior form; and some information previously required of only certain types of organizations now is required of all types of organizations. Most charities and other tax-exempt organizations must file an annual informational return with the IRS to maintain their tax-exempt status. Information reported on Form 990 is made available to the public.

The new 990 basically consists of an 11-part core form to be completed by all organizations, and schedules as applicable. The IRS believes the schedules are more ordered, more focused, and will eliminate the unstructured attachments previously required but, according to the IRS, not always submitted with the return.

“These instructions are the final step in a tremendous effort to bring the Form 990 up to date and to reflect the diversity and complexity of the tax-exempt community,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman." The revised form will give the IRS and the public a much better view of how exempt organizations operate. The improved transparency provided by these changes will also benefit the tax-exempt community.”

Form 990 had previously not seen major revisions since 1979. The revised instructions, redesigned Form 990 and all Schedules can be found at:,,id=185561,00.html

The IRS expects to release instructions to the 2008 Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, in the next few weeks. As part of the phase in of the redesigned Form 990 over a three-year transition period, many organizations not eligible to file the Form 990-EZ for 2007 will be eligible to file Form 990-EZ or Form 990 for 2008.

A summary of the transition period filing requirements for Form 990, 990-EZ, and 990-N is also now available at,,id=184445,00.html