The new Form 990: Governance and internal controls under the microscope

It's been almost a year since the release of the "new" Form 990 instructions, yet many public charities are just now wrestling with its broader disclosure requirements.

Board recruitment: How to attract younger members

Where are all the young people? Forget the myth that they are not civically minded. You will likely find many young people volunteering on committees or assisting with events and fundraisers.

User fees increase for exempt organization exemption applications

The IRS has increased user fees for all applications for exemption (Forms 1023, 1024, and 1028) postmarked after January 3, 2010.

Non-profit officers face May deadline

Officers signing their non-profits' radically revised IRS Form 990 this year may want to read the small print on risking perjury by making false statements about filing at the state level for fund-raising and other activities, according to Martignetti Planned Giving Advisors, LLC, a New York-based consultancy group that advises non-profits. "Charity registration and licensing throughout the 50 states has long been a regulatory morass that most non-profits avoided or ignored.

Not-for-profit board members beware: The IRS may have you in its scope

It's a growing trend for socially responsible companies to encourage employees to serve on not-for-profit boards. At the same time, the IRS is stepping up its scrutiny of private charitable corporations and in some cases, holding board members personally accountable when something goes wrong.Here's what happened to Steve Verret, board chairman of a not-for-profit hospital in Beaumont, Texas. After the CEO of the hospital failed to pay employment taxes, the IRS held Verret responsible. According to Verret, the CEO assured him repeatedly that the taxes were being paid on a timely basis.

Special accounting needs of not-for-profits and moving business forward

by Ken Garen, CPANot-for-profit organizations find themselves in a very challenging position. Government and funding sources thrust extremely sophisticated reporting requirements upon them, yet budget and personnel constraints often hamper their ability to fulfill the requirements. The organization's very existence and their ability to move forward may depend upon being able to closely track expenditures and create unique reports required by government and funding sources in an accurate and timely manner.

IRS issues extension for 403(b) plans

The IRS has issued a notice announcing relief for 403(b) retirement plans that do not have a written plan in place by January 1, 2009. The new guidance is for retirement plans covering employees at public schools, colleges and universities, and other tax exempt organizations. The IRS is extending the deadline for plan sponsors to adopt new written plans or amend existing plans to satisfy the requirement of the final 403(b) regulations because of difficulties expressed by numerous plan administrators in meeting the current deadline of January 1, 2009.

10 tips to help NFPs run at peak performance

Right now is a good time to take stock of your organization and make sure it is running at its best. Indianapolis-based Financial Technologies and Management has compiled a list of tips from which every organization can benefit. Read and consider following through on these suggestions to make next year even better than the last.Accept Donations OnlineWhile most non-profits have a Web site, more than 30 percent do not accept online donations. It's a fact that people give more when they make online donations.

Budget shortfalls hammering state and local governments, nonprofits

As Congress and the Treasury Department struggle to stem the damage of the economic crisis, state and local governments are in their own world of hurt.Unlike the federal government, state and local governments must balance their budgets every year. Nonprofits, which bolster the needy with programs that supplement government assistance, are feeling the pain too.States are facing deficits of more than $40 billion in fiscal 2009 budgets, which are just weeks or months old.
Education & Careers

Retiring boomers, aka encore workers, will seek meaning in new jobs

In these economic times, boomers will need to work longer, and many say they want a job that provides both money and meaning. The question is, are nonprofit employers interested in hiring employees who have finished their midlife careers? What makes nonprofits more eager - or less - to give encore workers a try?A national survey released this month by MetLife Foundation and Civic Ventures finds that half of nonprofit employers actually see encore workers as highly appealing, with an additional 39 percent finding them moderately appealing.

November Tax Talk Today prepares listeners for Form 990 changes

The Internal Revenue Service's next Tax Talk Today Web cast on Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. focuses on "Preparing for the New Form 990."The IRS has redesigned Form 990 to reflect significant changes that have taken place in the tax law and the tax-exempt sector. Organizations and their preparers will want to tune in to learn about the new form and instructions so that they fully understand how the changes affect the filing process.The new form will be filed in 2009 for the 2008 tax year.
Education & Careers

Students help non-profits during intense BAP competition

Take 50 college students who don't know each other, add several complicated business challenges, give them 12 hours, and what do you get at the end?

IRS rules would require NFL to disclose football player salaries

It's a simple concept. If you operate a tax exempt agency, you follow the established rules for nonprofits. One of the newer regulations governing nonprofits is that, in the interest of transparency, consistency, and full disclosure, nonprofits must reveal the salaries of their key personnel as well as business dealings between the agency's officers, trustees, and staff. An agency that feels it has ample reason to not reveal that information has the option of giving up its tax exempt status.

IRS to release instructions for new Form 990

This past April the IRS released for public comment draft instructions to the redesigned Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, to be filed beginning with 2008 tax years (2009 filing season). The IRS has completed its review of the public comments and made revisions to the draft instructions, and expects to post the revised instructions on its Web site in the next few weeks.The upcoming release of revised Form 990 (2008) instructions will be accompanied by background documents which will explain changes made to the draft instructions in response to public comments.

IRS issues draft instructions for 2008 Form 990

The Internal Revenue Service recently released for public comment the draft instructions to the 2008 Form 990, which is the return most tax-exempt organizations must file annually.The instructions apply to the redesigned Form 990 that organizations will file for their 2008 tax years (returns filed in 2009).

CPAs can make sure nonprofit leaders are leading

Many CPAs are active in their communities. Many of those happen to volunteer their precious time to nonprofit organizations. You may be a CPA in a top position, or you may be a loyal foot soldier for a cause. Either way, evaluating the not-for-profit organization's leaders - or adopting key leadership traits - could be critical to the success of the organization in which you believe and invest so much time.The leadership capacity of a nonprofit or exempt organization is extremely important.

FASB issues FAS 117-a regarding endowments held by not-for-profits

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued proposed FASB Staff Position (FSP) FAS 117-a, Endowments of Not-for-Profit Organizations: Net Asset Classification of Funds Subject to an Enacted Version of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, and Enhanced Disclosures.

FIN 48-2: FASB upholds FIN 48 for public companies; non-public entities may defer

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has decided to allow nonpublic entities to defer implementation of FIN 48 to fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2007. To address this issue, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued FASB Staff Position (FSP) FIN 48-2, Effective Date of FASB Interpretation No. 48 for Certain Nonpublic Enterprises.

IRS releases newly designed Form 990 for 2008

The IRS has issued an updated version of Form 990, the return that charities and other tax-exempt organizations are required to file annually, and has provided transition relief so that small exempt organizations will have time to adjust to the new form. "When we released the redesigned draft form this past June, we said we needed a Form 990 that reflects the way this growing sector operates in the 21st century," said Steven T. Miller, commissioner of the IRS' Tax Exempt and Government Entities division.

How can I help? Responsibilities of serving on nonprofit boards

By James D. Cole, CPAPerhaps the following situation is familiar to you or your clients, beginning with one telephone call:"Hello, yes, this is he. Yes, I am a CPA. Oh yes, I have heard of your charity. I think it is a wonderful cause! Why yes, I might be interested in serving on your board of directors (as my mind races to the monthly stipends paid to directors that I read about in proxy statements).


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