A reminder on the Federal Form 990 …

If you are a nonprofit organization that is required to file a Form 990 make sure you are using the current 990 form. As a reminder – especially for newly established nonprofits – the 990 is an informational financial return that most nonprofit’s have to file annually with the IRS, five months after the close of their fiscal year. Failure to prepare and submit form 990 is cause for the revocation of the exempt status of a nonprofit organization.

You can easily check with the www.IRS.gov web site for nonprofits that may not be required to submit information

Most organizations with gross receipts of less than $200,000 and total assets less than $500,000 may choose to file either the revised Form 990 or the Form 990-EZ.

Nonprofits organizations with annual gross receipts of less than $25,000 aren’t generally required to file Form 990. However, they do have to file an electronic postcard form called the Form 990-N, available from the IRS at www.IRS.gov

The submitted 990 forms are available to the general public including donors and grantors. The data includes executive compensation and program expenditures. Potential donors and grantors can, and many routinely do, look at an organization’s Form 990 before making decisions about charitable giving. The media and nonprofit-watchdog groups may also check out 990s.

According to IRS disclosure regulations, exempt organizations must make its three most recently filed annual 990 or 990-PF returns and all related supporting documents available for public inspection. This public disclosure rule also applies to Form 1023, which is filed to obtain exempt status.

From the Attorney General’s office: Charities operating in California must register and file annual financial reports with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts. The Attorney General’s Charities website offers resources to help charities with registration and reporting compliance. Compliance and enforcement are handled by the Attorney General’s Charitable Trusts Section: California Attorney General, (916) 322-3360 or 1-800-952-5225 oag.ca.gov/charities.

For additional information you can get a copy of the Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization Publication 557 (Rev. October 2013) at the Attorney General’s web site.

Author: Robin Noah, Executive Ciaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org