Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2019


Form990.xlsm, freely available at, is a standalone, macro-enabled Excel workbook that allows users to easily download and analyze IRS Form 990 tax data. This information is extremely difficult to access in machine-readable format, but the IRS recently made the data available as XML files. Form990.xlsm directly imports data in separate sheets for each institution. This paper demonstrates how to use this tool by analyzing a small sample of similar colleges. We compare Form 990 data with IPEDS and find substantial agreement, but important differences. Form 990 data offer researchers an alternative to IPEDS for higher education work and enable evaluation of hospitals, political associations, service organizations, and other nonprofits.

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Economics Commons