Tax 990

Form 990 Tax Filing Requirements for Business Leagues, Chambers of Commerce & Real Estate Boards

An overview of applying for tax-exempt status, 990 filing requirements, and IRS deadlines.

What Should 501(c)(6) Business Leagues, Chambers of Commerce, and Real Estate Boards Know About Form
990 Filing?

- Updated August 14, 2023 - 2.00 PM - Admin, Tax990

Organizations such as Business leagues, Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trade, Real Estate Boards, Professional Football Leagues, and similar organizations are eligible to obtain federal tax exemption–provided they meet certain criteria established by the IRS.

Read through the information below to understand how business leagues can become tax-exempt, what the filing requirements are, and more.

How Does the IRS Define Business Leagues, Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trade, etc?

  • IRC Section 501(c)(6) defines a Business League as a group or an association formed between persons who have a common business interest.
  • The primary purpose of these organizations is not to engage in typical business activities that generate a profit, but instead to promote their common business interests.
  • For example, activities geared toward the improvement of business conditions as opposed to activities that look to improve the performance of a particular service for individual persons.
  • Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade operate in a similar way, while also working towards improving the common economic interests of a community or industry.

Section 501(c)(6) Requirements for Business Leagues

In addition to the above-mentioned characteristics, Business Leagues and other related organizations must meet the following criteria in order to be tax-exempt according to the IRC section 501(c)(6):

  • The organization must operate as a membership organization and receive significant membership support.
  • The organization should not be organized for profit.
  • None of the net earnings of the organization should benefit any private shareholder or individual.
  • The organization should not be involved in any kind of regular business activities ordinarily done for profit, even if the business is operated on a cooperative basis or generates only enough income to sustain itself.

How Can Business Leagues Obtain 501(c)(6) Status?

In order to qualify as tax-exempt, the Business League (or Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trade, Professional Football League, etc.) must file Form 1024–the Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(a) or Section 521 or the Internal Revenue Code.

What are the 990 Requirements for 501(c)(6) Business Leagues?

All Business Leagues and other similar organizations with 501(c)(6) tax-exempt status are required to provide the IRS with details on their financial information and activities every year.

Based off information regarding their gross receipts and assets, Business Leagues and other similar organizations will file the applicable form:

  • Form 990-N : filed by organizations with gross receipts less than or equal to $50,000.
  • Form 990-EZ : filed by organizations with gross receipts less than $200,000 and assets less
    than $500,000.
  • Form 990: filed by organizations with gross receipts greater than or equal to $200,000 or assets greater than or equal to $500,000.

Additional Filing Requirements

  • Business Leagues and other 501(c)(6) organizations may be required additional information through Schedules based on the details they report on their 990 or 990-EZ return.
  • All organizations that file Form 990 or 990-EZ and have unrelated business income of $1,000 or more during the tax year must file Form 990-T.

When is the Deadline to File Form 990?

All organizations that file a 990 Series Form must do so by the 15th day of the 5th Month after the previous accounting period.

Organizations operating on a calendar tax year have a deadline of May 15th.

Operating on a fiscal tax year? Find your 990 deadline using our due date calculator.

If the 990 deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday, the deadline will be pushed back to the next business day.

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