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The Nonprofit Sector in the United States: A Resource Guide

Form 990

The 990 is the tax form the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable and nonprofit organizations to submit annually. The Form 990 is designed to increase financial transparency and includes revenue, expenditure, and income data in addition to information used to assess whether a nonprofit aligns with federal requirements for tax-exempt status. The forms are publicly accessible once they are processed, but note that there can be a 12-18 month delay from the end of the organization's fiscal year to the latest available online form.

This page offers resources for understanding and completing the Form 990 as well as information on how to locate a tax exempt organization's 990.

How to Read the Form 990

These sources offer guidance on reading, understanding, and applying Form 990 data. Each resource includes information on what data is requested and collected by the IRS and where to find that data. There are also instructions for adding additional forms and responding to appended sections.

Locating a Form 990 text

The 990 is a public document that you can search for on the websites for the Secretary of State or the Attorney General where the organization is incorporated. In addition, 990s are available from a variety of open source and subscription sources. You may also request them from an organization or from the IRS.

The following are freely available, open source sites, unless otherwise noted, where you can locate IRS Form 990s.
The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.