Form 990 - A Group Project
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2017
IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax can appear to be a daunting task to complete. With the core form consisting of 12 pages and the possibility of an additional 16 schedules, the form goes beyond requesting just financial information.
The IRS’s goals for Form 990 are increased transparency, good governance and increased accountability for nonprofits. In order to meet these goals, the IRS requests information on your organization’s mission and program services, governance practices and procedures, transactions with insiders and related organization disclosures. In order to properly complete your organization’s Form 990, it should be a group project between management, program staff and the board. Obtaining information from beyond the accounting department will provide a more accurate and complete document.
Beyond the Numbers
Parts VII, IX and X of Form 990 require financial information on the organization’s revenues, expenses and balance sheet; however, the following sections require nonfinancial information that most likely needs to be obtained from program staff and board members.
Part I, Summary
Description of the organization’s most significant activities
Number of volunteers
Part III, Statement of Program Service Accomplishments
Mission that has been approved by the board
Significant program changes
Program service accomplishments for the year
Part VI, Governance, Management, and Disclosure
Number of board members
Number of voting board members
Relationships between board members and management
Changes to governing documents
Policies and procedures in place
Part VII, Compensation of Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, Highest Compensated Employees, and Independent Contractors
Listing of board members and hours provided per week
Listing of key and highest paid employees and hours worked
Part XII, Financial Statements and Reporting
Disclosure of whether an audit, review or compilation was done
Schedule C, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities
Political or lobbying activities engaged in during the year
Schedule L, Transactions with Interested Persons
Activities with board members or other disqualified persons
Schedule R, Related Organizations and Unrelated Partnerships
Activities with related organizations
Form 990 is open to public inspection so you want to make sure that all required questions have been answered and all required schedules have been completed correctly for your organization. Use Form 990 to tell your organization’s story by effectively presenting both the nonfinancial information and the financial information.
Posted by: Carrie Minnich, CPA
Posted in Mission Minded Nonprofits
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