When will GuideStar receive Forms 990 from the IRS
GuideStar receives the following Forms 990 from the IRS: 990-EZ, 990-PF and 990-T.
*A note on Form 990-N: The 990-N is unlike a submission of other 990 documents provided to the IRS. This is because the nonprofit is supplying their data electronically and no paper form is used. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service does not render the 990-Ns in any sort of an “official” document PDF form that GuideStar would be able to post and analyze. This is why we do not provide 990-Ns from the IRS, however, organization's can upload their 990-N to their GuideStar Nonprofit Profile (see instructions below).
Posting Form 990 images is an ongoing process. We receive 990s directly from the IRS. We take the Form 990 images, convert them to PDF's, and upload them onto our site. It takes approximately two months after an organization files its 990 with the IRS for the 990 to appear on GuideStar. However, if it has been longer than two months and it is not listed on GuideStar, we simply have not yet received it from the IRS. We do encourage nonprofit organizations to post their most recent 990s themselves if we have not yet received the official version from the government.
After converting the Form 990 images to PDFs, we send them to an offsite facility, where the data is digitized. This automatically updates the Income and Assets fields and other financial information that appears on the Financials section of an organization’s Nonprofit Profile. It takes about 2 months, from the time we send out the PDFs, to have the digitization process completed. In total, it takes 5 months from filing the Form 990 with the IRS to seeing the digitized information on our site.
To request a copy of an organization's Form 990. You can go to the IRS website at www.irs.gov and locate form number 4506-A. Fax the completed Form 4506-A to the IRS at 801-620-7896 or mail it to:
Internal Revenue Service
RAIVS Unit MS: 6716
Ogden, UT 84201
Where is the 990 data?
There is no doubt that 990 data is not timely. But why?
Well, there are a few reasons. First, let's look at the regulations. Nonprofits have until the 15th day of the fifth month after the end of their fiscal year to file their 990s. In practice this means that if an organization's fiscal year ends on 12/31, the filing deadline is 5/15. If it ends on 6/30. the filing deadline is 11/15. A nonprofit can receive two 3 month extensions with very little effort (a rubber stamp process if you will). This means that an organization can file their 990 ten and half months (almost a year!) after the end of their fiscal year. The filing of extensions in the nonprofit sector is pervasive. The IRS expects to receive over 672,000 requests for extensions in 2017. That is more than amount of 990s the IRS expects to receive in 2017 (some organizations request more than 1 extension)! The next reason is the IRS itself. In June of 2016, the IRS began releasing the e-filed on Amazon Web Services. This new process added delays to the IRS releasing the 990 data in any format. The biggest slowdown occurred between November and December 2016.
Is the 2015 990 data any slower than it has been in years past?
Yes, but not by much. We looked at the numbers year over year. In June of 2016, we would have still been processing 2014 form data. By June of 2016, we had received 209K 2014 forms. As of now, we have processed 193K 2015 forms. So we have processed 92% of 2015 forms vs the same time period last year for 2014 forms.
How to Upload Forms 990 to Your Profile
Please follow the directions below to upload a Form 990 to your GuideStar Nonprofit Profile.
- Sign in at www.guidestar.org, using your registered email and password (I'm not registered with GuideStar).
- Click on the Update Nonprofit Profile link on the home page.
- Click on your organization's name to start updating your organization's profile (I need to claim/request permission to update my profile).
- On the left-hand side of the page is a list of categories. Click on Additional Docs.
- Click on the subcategory IRS Docs.
- Enter the Document Name & Year.
- Click the Browse button to locate the file you want to upload.
- Select the file and click the Open button.
- Click the Save button to upload the document to your GuideStar Nonprofit Profile.
- Click Publish Changes Now either at the top or the bottom of the page.
- Certify your changes are up to date and accurate, and then click Finish and Publish. Your 990 will be appear on your GuideStar Nonprofit Profile within 48 hours.
If you are having trouble uploading your 990, it may be larger than the allowed size of 10 MB. To resolve this issue you will need to compress the file. Below is a link to assist you.
Once you have confirmed that the size is within the allowed limits, and you are still having difficulties uploading, you are welcome to email the PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to upload on your behalf. Please be sure to include the EIN and organization's name in the subject line of the email, along with a brief message of your request.