The IRS Advisory Committee on Tax-Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) released its 2015 report on June 17, 2015 detailing recommendations for consideration by the IRS. They focused their recommendations on revisiting the Form 990 in light of the fact that the redesigned form is now seven years old. With the learning curve behind exempt organizations, the group suggested that the IRS step back and reevaluate the form and its instructions with a focus on increased clarity and transparency.
IRS Advisory Committee on Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Recommendations for the Form 990
A Congressional mandate to require electronic filing of the Form 990 Series should be supported by the IRS, and in the absence of legislation, the IRS should encourage and provide incentives for electronic filing.
A task force should be convened by the IRS Exempt Organization Division to determine what parts of the Form 990 and its related instructions should be updated, modified and/or deleted in order to allow a clearer understanding, accuracy and enhanced consistency among filers.
Consideration should be given to requesting additional information from Form 990-N filers. The Form 990-N is an electronic postcard filed by small organizations with gross receipts normally less than $50,000 and reports basic organizational information. Because neither the Form 990-N nor the Form 1023-EZ require significant detail regarding the organization’s activities, the group believes that perhaps the Form 990-N disclosures should be expanded to capture this information in public comments.
Tamera Ripperda, IRS Exempt Organizations Director, has publicly supported e-filing, but absent congressional action, the IRS can only encourage e-filing. Ms. Ripperda also committed to finding ways to assist the exempt organization community with Form 990 compliance through outreach and education.
You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours
The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at [email protected].
Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.