Those who have filed – or at least reviewed – the “new” Form 990 since it was revised in 2008 are well aware of its comprehensive nature. For everyone else, suffice it to say that the form requires substantially more information than its predecessor and can compel an organization to implement additional record-keeping or information-gathering procedures. Knowing in advance which version of the form is required is important so that an organization can compile the necessary information in a timely manner.

The obligation to file the full revised Form 990 is being phased in over a three-year period. For 2010 (and subsequent years), an organization may file the Form 990-EZ in lieu of the full Form 990 if its gross receipts are between $50,000 and $200,000, and its total assets are less than $500,000. Organizations with gross receipts in excess of $200,000 or total assets in excess of $500,000 must file the full Form 990.

Organizations with gross receipts that are normally no more than $50,000 are required to file the electronic Form 990-N or “e-Postcard.” In prior years, this threshold was $25,000. These small organizations may, however, opt to file a Form 990-EZ or Form 990.

For 2010, private foundations are still required to file the Form 990-PF.