Not every tax form requires a payment of tax. Sometimes information is what the IRS is after. For example, Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF (the three forms of Form 990) are considered information returns or reporting forms. The public uses the information on these returns to evaluate nonprofits and how they operate. On these forms, you can see what a nonprofit’s income and expenses are, how much it pays its key people, and other useful information that can help you assess what a nonprofit does.Form 990 is a fairly critical form for the public disclosure of information because the law doesn’t require typical annual reports from nonprofit organizations. Even financial audits by independent accountants aren’t required by law (except in special circumstances).
The organizations that must file the Form 990s don’t have to pay federal income tax on income that’s related to their exempt purposes and programs. However, many private foundations do have to pay an excise tax that’s based on their investment income.