Smaller charitable organizations have a new sign-in process for Form 990-N as of August 2022. Existing online account holders can use their current log-in information, but new users will need to create an account with ID.me, the IRS’s online identification authentication system.
Charitable organizations that file Form 990 or 990-EZ are unaffected.
Refresher: Form 990-N
Small 501(c)3 organizations with annual gross receipts under $50,000 are eligible to file Form 990-N, the small postcard-like electronic tax document.
The gross receipts threshold can be increased to $75,000 for newly established organizations or $60,000, on average, for organizations operating for one to three tax years.
Even if an organization is eligible to file Form 990-N, it can still elect to file either Form 990 or 990-EZ. And sometimes, there isn’t an option.
Regardless of the amount, private foundations, supporting organizations (Section 509(a)3), and political organizations are required to file the full Form 990 or 990-EZ. A list of other ineligible organizations can be found here.
Filing Form 990-N requires up to eight items of information, which include:
- Tax year
- Legal name and mailing address
- Any other names the organization uses
- Name and address of a principal officer
- Website URL if applicable
- Confirmation of the gross receipts threshold
- A written statement if the organization is going out of business
Charitable organizations file Form 990-N after the end of their taxable year and no later than the 15th day of the fifth month after the tax year close. For calendar year organizations, this is typically April 15. Fiscal year organizations would file by November 15. Failure to file Form 990-N for three years in a row will result in the organization losing its tax-exempt status.
Why the Change to ID.me?
ID.me is more secure than a standard log-in as it requires multi-factor authentication to verify a user’s identity.
In 2021, the IRS’s first foray into ID.me failed when its rollout of a facial recognition sign-in prompted privacy concerns. It was supposed to make it easier for more Americans to access their tax information, especially low-income taxpayers. But despite privacy concerns and issues creating accounts (only about half of the taxpayers who attempted to create an ID.me account successfully did so), the number of online IRS accounts nearly doubled.
Since its initial debut, the IRS still uses ID.me but no longer requires facial recognition.
New Sign-In Instructions
There are three options to sign into the new Form 990-N submission page online:
- Use existing IRS credentials
- Use an existing ID.me account’s login credentials
- Create a new ID.me account
Current IRS account holders can choose to create a new ID.me account instead of using their existing credentials. To do this, they must use the same email address as what’s already registered with the IRS.
The IRS recommends closing other browser windows and using a desktop computer to complete the initial log-in process.
There is free online training to help affected organizations better navigate the new sign-in process. And, organizations can always contact PBMares for guidance. Reach out to Not-for-Profit Team Leader Bo Garner, CPA, MBA with questions.