What is the approximate lag between fiscal year end and Form 990s posted on your website?

About 30-60 days after the end of every month the IRS publishes images of Forms 990/990EZ/990PF that it processed during that month.  The IRS charges a subscription fee for this service to cover the cost of converting the 30,000-60,000 returns they process each month into graphic files and burning them onto 15-20 DVD’s that are shipped to paid subscribers.   NCCS provides access to these images through an agreement with the Foundation Center, who converts the files to PDF images and hosts them on their public server.  For example, the Forms 990/990EZ/990PF returns processed during August, 2011 should be available by mid-October, 2011.

Nonprofits are required to file Forms 990/990EZ/990PF within 5-6 months after the end of the tax year, but organizations requesting two extensions may have up to 11-12 months to file the initial return (see,,id=210784,00.html).  Once a return is filed, the IRS may take as few as 10 days up to 6 months or more to process the return (e.g. requests for further information and audits).  All of this is to say that the time lag from when an organization’s tax year ends to when the IRS processes the return for that fiscal year is normally around 6-12 months, but it can be delayed as much as 3-5+ years for any number of reasons.  The PDF images of Forms 990/990EZ/990PF returns are usually available on our site within two months of processing as mentioned above.

Added 10/11/2011 by jdurnford, Modified 10/11/2011 by jdurnford


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