How Much Do Accountants Charge To Prepare 990

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How Much Do Accountants Charge To Prepare 990

When it comes to preparing your organization’s Form 990, it’s important to understand the costs involved. Hiring an accountant to handle this process can save you time and ensure that you are in compliance with all tax laws and regulations. But how much can you expect to pay for this service?

Understanding Form 990

Form 990 is used by tax-exempt organizations, including nonprofits and charities, to report their financial information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It provides details about the organization’s mission, programs, and finances, and is an important tool for potential donors, grantmakers, and the public to evaluate its operations and governance.

Given the complexity and importance of Form 990, many organizations choose to hire an accountant to prepare and file the form. Doing so can help ensure accuracy and compliance, while freeing up the organization’s staff to focus on other activities.

Factors Affecting Cost

The cost of having an accountant prepare Form 990 can vary widely based on a number of factors. These may include the size and complexity of the organization, the level of detail required for the form, the accountant’s experience and expertise, and the geographic location of the organization.

For example, a small nonprofit with a simple financial structure may pay significantly less than a larger organization with complex programs, multiple revenue streams, and various compliance issues to consider. Similarly, an accountant with specialized knowledge of nonprofit accounting and tax laws may charge more for their services than a general practitioner.

Typical Fees

While it’s difficult to provide an exact figure without knowing the specifics of your organization, the cost of preparing Form 990 typically ranges from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Most accountants charge for this service on an hourly basis, with rates ranging from $150 to $500 per hour, or more for highly specialized expertise.

It’s important to note that these fees are in addition to any other accounting and bookkeeping services the organization may require. Some accountants may offer a package deal for ongoing services, while others may charge separately for each task performed.

Choosing an Accountant

When selecting an accountant to prepare Form 990, it’s important to consider more than just the cost. Look for a professional with experience in nonprofit accounting and tax law, as well as a solid reputation for accuracy and compliance. Ask for references and check their credentials, and consider meeting with several accountants before making a decision.

It’s also important to discuss the scope of the work and the accountant’s fee structure upfront. Make sure you understand what is included in the quoted price, and ask about any additional costs that may arise. A clear understanding of the agreement will help ensure that there are no surprises when the bill arrives.


Preparing Form 990 is an important task for any tax-exempt organization, and hiring an accountant can help ensure that the process is handled accurately and efficiently. While the cost of this service can vary based on a number of factors, most organizations can expect to pay a few hundred to several thousand dollars for this assistance.

When choosing an accountant to handle Form 990 preparation, it’s important to consider not only the cost, but also the accountant’s expertise, experience, and reputation. By taking the time to find the right professional for the job, you can help ensure that your organization remains in compliance and maintains the trust of its stakeholders.

Remember, the financial investment in hiring a capable and experienced accountant is likely to pay off in the long run, as it can help prevent costly errors and potential legal issues down the road.

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