Secrets of Form 990
In this episode of the pod, we’re going to walk you through the types of information you can get from a 990. You’ll hear how that information is helpful to a variety of individuals including: a new Executive Director, board members, the press, staff, job applicants, donors, and more.
Our Hosts for This Episode:
- Why nonprofits are required to publicly disclose certain legal and financial information.
- The different kinds of Form 990s including:
- Form 990
- Form 990 EZ
- Form 990-N
- Form 990-PF
- When are Form 990s due?
- What are the penalties and fines for not filing?
- What can you find in a 990?
- Identity, Tax Status, and Tax Year
- How Much Income Did the Filer Receive and From What Sources?
- How Did the Filer’s Total Expenses Break Down?
- What Can You Tell from Net Assets?
- Number of employees and board members, organization’s website, and EIN
- What Kinds of Programs Does the Filer Run and How Much Does It Spend on Them?
- Good Governance – Conflict of Interest, Whistleblower, Record Retention and Compensation Policies
- Who Are the Filer’s Board Members, Officers, Key Employees, and How Much Does Its Top Staff Get Paid?
- Did the Filer Initiate Some New Activity, Change Its Processes for Governing or Engage in Any Excess Benefit Transactions?
- Did the Filer Engage in Any Self-Dealing Transactions During the Year?
- Does the Filer Lobby?
- When nonprofits must provide copies of financial documents to the public
- In-person requests
- Requests in writing
- Charges for copying and mail must be arranged in advance
- Fines for noncompliance
- Filers who share their 990s on their website are not obligated to produce copies upon request
As a reminder, this episode is just about the tax filing to the federal government (the 990) at the end of your fiscal year. Each state may also require a nonprofit public charity to file other types of forms, perhaps a copy of the 990, or some other tax filing. So make sure if you’re a staff person that you work with your bookkeeper to understand all the end of the year filings you need to provide.
- Guidance on how to complete a Form 990 from the IRS
- Give Me Your 990
- Keeping Track: A Guide to Recordkeeping for Advocacy Charities
- Where to look for Form 990s:
- Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online
- Bolder Advocacy’s TA hotline: online form or 866-NP-LOBBY
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org