Tax Exempt Organizations need to be aware of the changes to the new 990 which was released on January 24, 2012.  Here is a link to the 2011 990 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f990.pdf and the instructions http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i990.pdf. The first two pages of the instructions provide information about the “significant changes”. 

One very important change that all organizations must be aware of is that you can no longer say “yes” to question 11a on the 990 if the 990 form was made available upon request of the board members.  In order to answer “yes” the board will have to be provided the document.   Obviously the idea is that the board should actually review the 990 and be aware of its content before the 990 is filed.

There are changes concerning entities with foreign investment greater than $100,000, board chair compensation and compensation of officers and employees, net losses and contributions.  There are other changes that affect joint ventures, investment partnerships and hospitals as well.  The instructions now provide more guidance in areas that were lacking.  Other minor changes include instructions that an orginization must make reasonable efforts to obtain information from third parties and paid preparers must enter their PTIN but may sign with a rubber stamp, mechanical device or computer software program.  For more information and to see all the changes review the forms and instructions.

The 990 (or 990-EZ) is generally required by the IRS to be filed for tax exempt organizations.  Which form is required is generally determined by the amount of gross receipts or assets of an organization.  Please have a qualified CPA assist your organization in the completion of the return.