If you operate outside the US, you’ll have to fill out the Schedule F if you meet one or more of the following criteria. (Note that Schedule F is only required for organizations filing the full Form 990, not the 990-EZ.)

  1. Have aggregate revenue or expenses for a foreign activity of more than $10,000, or aggregate foreign investments of more than $100,000
  2. Gave more than $5,000 of grants or assistance to one or more foreign organizations (an individual organization has to receive more than $5,000 to be reported)
  3. Gave more than $5,000 of grants or assistance to foreign individuals (if the total amount given to all individuals is more than $5,000, report all grants given)

The number on this list corresponds to the part of Schedule F you’ll fill out if you meet that criterion. In Parts I and III, you report expenses in an entire region. In Part II, you’ll report grants by each recipient, and will also need to know what region the recipients are in. The instructions for the schedule list out which countries are in each region.

Parts II and III are relatively self-explanatory but Part I merits more discussion. One detail worth noting for Part III is, if you give more than one type of grant or assistance in a region, do a separate line for each type of grant. Beyond that, you don’t need to sub-divide them.

In Part I, if you have multiple activities in a region, list each activity on its own line. If you have both expenditures and investments in a region, report those on separate lines as well. Investments can be rounded to the nearest $1,000. One quirk of Part I is that, if you are required to file it, you may or may not have expenditures to report. If you received more than $10,000 of revenue from a foreign activity but incurred no expenses, you would fill out every column except (f) in Part I.

When deciding which expenses to report, it’s largely based on where the expense took place – within the US or outside of it. Wages paid to salaries and consultants would not be reported unless they are based outside the US, even if they are based in the US and travel to foreign countries. If a US employee or consultant travels outside the country, expenses they incur during their foreign travel would be reported. Expenses for offices maintained in a foreign country, and/or activities ongoing there, would be reported.

In column C, don’t include people who only work as volunteers. If someone works in multiple regions, include them in the number of employees, agents, and contractors for each region where they work. In lines 3a-3c, don’t double-count people who work in multiple regions; just include the total number of people who work outside the US.

Schedule F can be found here, and more detailed instructions for filling it out are provided here.