Category Archives: Form 990

Reporting Diversions of Nonprofit Assets

The Washington Post has identified over 1,000 nonprofit organizations that have reported a “significant diversion” of assets. Its important to note that there are over 1,616,000 tax-exempt nonprofits in the U.S. today; thus, these filings represent less than 1% of tax-exempt nonprofits. It’s also interesting to note that a quick review of Arizona’s list includes only 21 organizations – most of which reported the diversions in a clear, transparent, and confidence inspiring manner.Continue Reading

Nonprofit Corporations: Eight Items to Do By Year End

Hold Annual Meeting. Most corporate bylaws require that the directors meet at least annually. Many state nonprofit corporation statutes also require an annual meeting. The annual meeting is typically the meeting where the board (or voting members) fill vacancies on the board, appoint officers, approve budgets, circulate and sign conflict of interest disclosures, and ratify actions taken during the year.Continue Reading

IRS Study Indicates Good Nonprofit Governance Leads to Better Tax Compliance

The IRS has released preliminary results from their study of tax-exempt organizations’ governance practices. As expected, the preliminary findings suggest that organizations with good governance policies are more likely to comply with tax laws. On April 19, Lois Lerner, the Director of the IRS’ Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division, spoke on this issue at aContinue Reading

Form 990 Filing Requirements Reminder

As the time for calendar year nonprofits to file their annual tax return approaches, many nonprofits will need to remember which Form 990 their organization is required to file. As a refresher, the threshold requirements a different for each organization and depend on both revenue and assets.Continue Reading

IRS 2012 Work Plan – What’s New for Nonprofits

Each year, the IRS publishes a report detailing what its focus will be regarding nonprofit organizations and compliance during the year to come. The following are some of the highlights from the 2012 Exempt Organizations Work Plan.Continue Reading

An Important Heads Up for Charities: The 2011 Form 990

The final Form 990 for the 2011 tax year has been released by the IRS and includes a few significant changes that charities should be aware of. Continue Reading

Nonprofits that Fail to Timely File Form 990 May Face Steep Penalties

Fortunately, for nonprofits with reasonable cause for filing late, there is a silver lining. Code Section 6652(c)(3) provides that penalties assessed for late filing may be waived when the late filing was due to “reasonable cause.” Accordingly, the IRS will consider waiving the penalties (but not the interest) where the organization can prove the late filing was due to reasonable cause. Continue Reading

Small Change Could Spell Big Relief for Small Arizona Nonprofits

simple change in Arizona law would sync the state and federal information return processes, allowing a more simplified filing for small Arizona nonprofits with gross income between $25,000 and $50,000. The purpose of the recent change in federal requirements was to ease the burden of the annual filing for small nonprofits. To reconcile Arizona law with the Federal law, the Arizona legislature need only amend ARS §43-1242 C. 1 to read as follows:

“Need not file it if its gross income does not exceed fifty thousand dollars.”Continue Reading

Sweet Relief! IRS Announces Retroactive Relief Program for Revoked Nonprofits

Today, the IRS has made public the long awaited list of organizations that automatically lost their tax-exempt status due to their failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-N for three consecutive years. The IRS announced that it has revoked the tax-exempt status of approximately 275,000 such organizations, including over 4,000 in Arizona.Continue Reading

Lessons to be Learned From the Arizona Fiesta Bowl

Could one man really do that much damage to an Arizona institution as high profile and important as the Fiesta Bowl? More likely, the nonprofit scandal of the year was a group effort fueled by a dysfunctional board. The Fiesta Bowl board bears all the hallmarks of a board more interested in administering than governing the organization. Still, there are lessons to be learned from the Fiesta Bowl’s governance and oversight failures.Continue Reading

Non-profit Directors and Trustees – Should Board Service Pay?

Trustee compensation is a sensitive topic in the philanthropic world. Many people believe that board members should serve out of a sense of giving back to their community. However, the philanthropic world is diverse and there are many positions that require extraordinary talent and an extraordinary time commitment to lead them. Nonprofit organizations are also increasingly complex and subject to complex rules and that make significant demands on that talent. Increasingly, board members face the potential for liability if they fail to fully adhere to these complex and fast changing rules.Continue Reading

Public Disclosure of IRS Filings

Public disclosure requirements applicable to tax-exempt organizations.Continue Reading

Tick-Tock – Time Is Running Out For Delinquent 990s

I have blogged about this before, but I thought a reminder was in order. The October 15 deadline for tax-exempt organizations to file a Form 990-N is is fast approaching. October 15 is a key deadline for thousands of small nonprofit organizations at risk of losing their tax-exempt status because they have not filed theContinue Reading

Small Tax Exempt Organizations: Extension of Time to File Delinquent Form 990s

Two types of relief are available for small exempt organizations – a filing extension for the smallest organizations required to file Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard), and a Voluntary Compliance Program for small organizations eligible to file Form 990-EZ , Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. Small organizations required to file Form 990-N simply need to go to the IRS website, supply the eight information items called for on the form, and electronically file it by Oct. 15, 2010.

Under the Voluntary Compliance Program, larger tax-exempt organizations eligible to file Form 990-EZ (but not eligible to file Form 990-N) must file their delinquent annual information returns by October 15 and pay a compliance fee which is between $100 and $500 depending upon the organization’s revenues. Details about the VCP are on the IRS website , along with frequently asked questions.Continue Reading

A Reprieve for Small Nonprofits?

Monday was the deadline for small nonprofits to file overdue Form 990s or face loss of tax-exempt status. Notwithstanding Monday’s deadline , Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Doug Shulman said the agency will do what it can for small charities to keep their exemptions in a statement released on Tuesday. Continue Reading

May 17 First Major Deadline for New Automatic Revocation of Exemption Penalty

As part of the Pension Protection Act passed in 1996, Congress added a new penalty for tax-exempt organizations that fail to file their annual return for three years in a row. Formerly, the only penalty was a monetary penalty. The new law has upped the ante to impose the ultimate penalty: loss of exemption. The penalty applies to organizations that fail to file Form 990, Form 990-EZ, as well as the relatively new Form 990-N. Form 990-N is a relatively new form that must be filed by tax-exempt organizations whose revenues normally fall below $25,000. Organizations that have their status revoked may apply for reinstatement based on reasonable cause for the failure to file. The first three year period is 2007 through 2009, which means that once the 2010 filing deadline passes for these forms (May 15, 2010 for tax-exempt organizations with calendar fiscal years), organizations that failed to file their Form 990s forms for those three years will automatically lose their tax-exempt status. Continue Reading

ABC’s for Exempt Organizations

The ever improving IRS Exempt Organizations webpage offers the following resources to help the manager of a new exempt organization navigate tax issues. The site notes that these materials are not comprehensive and that for further assistance, exempt organizations should consult a tax adviser. The materials, do, however, offer a valuable primer to those looking to educate themselves about their tax compliance obligations.Continue Reading

Nonprofit Law Urban Legends

I recently contacted Gene Takagi, a noted California nonprofit lawyer, to confirm or deny an assertion regarding California nonprofit law that was made to one of our clients. He was kind enough to clarify the matter. We discussed that there are many such “nonprofit law urban legends” and he suggested that would be a good topicContinue Reading

IRS Releases New Video Series to Help Exempt Organizations Understand Redesigned Form 990 Requirements

The Internal Revenue Service has launched a new case study and video series to help exempt organizations and their tax preparers better understand the newly revised Form 990 series which must be filed for the 2008 tax year. Continue Reading