What Should Scientific, Charitable, Literary, and Testing for Public Safety Organizations Know About Tax Exemption and Form 990 Filing?
- Updated Aug 14, 2023 - 2.00 PM - Admin, Tax990
For the purposes of granting federal tax exemption to nonprofit organizations, various IRC sections have been established by the IRS. Depending on the organization’s type, operation purpose, and a few other factors, the IRS classifies a nonprofit under the corresponding section.
This article details how the IRS defines Scientific, Charitable, Literary, and Testing for Public Safety Organizations, how they can obtain tax exemption, and what their tax filing requirements are.
Table of Contents
How Does the IRS Define Scientific, Charitable, Literary, and Testing for Public Safety Organizations?
Per the IRC Section 501(c)(3):
Scientific Organizations are established and operated to carry out scientific research that may benefit the public/society (finding a cure for a disease, for example).
Charitable Organizations are organized and operated for any exempt purposes that are beneficial to public interest (raising donations for the poor, for example).
Literary Organizations are established to operate either as a book store or to carry out publishing activities such as printing, publication, and/or distribution.
Testing for Public Safety Organizations are organizations that perform various activities to ensure the safety of the public.
How Can These Organizations Apply for Tax Exemption?
Scientific, Charitable, Literary, Testing for Public Safety Organizations can apply for federal tax exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3) by filing either of the following forms:
Form 1023 - Application for Recognition or Exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRC
Form 1023-EZ (Depending on their answers on the eligibility worksheet)
What are the 990 filing Requirements?
The Scientific, Charitable, Literary, Testing for Public Safety Organizations that obtained tax-exempt status from the IRS under section 501(c)(4) aren’t subject to federal income tax–however, they still must report their financial status, activities, and certain other information to the IRS every year by filing 990 Series Forms. Depending on their gross receipts, organizations will file one of the corresponding forms:
Form 990-N - Filed by organizations with gross receipts less than or equal to $50,000.
- Filed by organizations with gross receipts less than $200,000 and assets
less than $500,000.
- Filed by organizations with gross receipts of $200,000 or more (or) assets of
$500,000 or more.
Form 990-PF - Filed by organizations classified as Private Foundations, regardless of gross receipts and/or assets.
Additional Filing Requirements
The IRS requires organizations to attach 990 Schedules for reporting additional information or explanation for some of the answers provided on Form 990 or 990-EZ.
Organizations with unrelated business income of $1000 or more during the tax year must
file Form 990-T.
When is the Form 990 Deadline for These Organizations?
The deadline for filing 990 returns is generally the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of the accounting period followed by the organization.
If the organization follows the calendar tax year, then the deadline to file their 990 returns is May 15th.
Operating on a Fiscal Tax Year? Find your 990 due date.
The organizations must file their 990 return by the next business day if the original deadline falls on a weekend or holiday.
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