April 21, 2009
The Internal Revenue Service has substantially revised its Form 990, which is the annual information return filed by tax-exempt organizations. The revised form is applicable to the 2008 tax year. The reasons given by the IRS for overhauling the Form 990 were “enhancing transparency, promoting tax compliance, and minimizing the burden on the filing organization.”
The IRS is attempting to encourage non-profit organizations to develop corporate governance policies by requiring answers to new questions which accompany the revised Form 990. The IRS is recommending that the following Governance practices and policies be included with the new Form 990: Board Composition; Contemporaneous Meeting Minutes; Management Companies; Relationships with For-Profits; Transactions with Insiders; Executive Compensation; Written Policies; Form 990 Review Policy; and Public Disclosure of Key Documents.
The CLTA will be carefully assessing the issues raised by the new Form 990 with its accounting firm, Counsel and Board of Governors. The new Form 990 and complete filing instructions can be found on the IRS website.