What is the difference between Form 990 and Form 990-PF?

The primary difference between Form 990 and Form 990-PF is that Form 990 is required for tax-exempt organizations in general (such as public charities) while Form 990-PF is required specifically for private foundations. Private foundations have a distinct character from other tax-exempt organizations so the IRS requires a unique form to report their activities—this is Form 990-PF. The information disclosed on Form 990-PF is tailored to how private foundations operate and is quite different from the information disclosed on the regular Form 990.

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