The Center for Health Affairs
About the IRS Form 990
The IRS Form 990 is submitted by tax-exempt organizations to provide the Internal Revenue Service with annual financial information. The Form 990 is used by the IRS to monitor tax-exempt organizations and is also available to other government agencies and to the general public.
Whereas for-profit corporations exist to earn and distribute taxable business earnings to shareholders, the nonprofit corporation exists to provide programs and services that are of public benefit. Often these programs and services are not otherwise provided by local, state or federal entities. While they are able to earn a profit, more accurately called a surplus, such earnings must be retained by the organization for its future provision of programs and services. Earnings may not benefit individuals or stakeholders.