The Internal Revenue Service has released the sixth in a series of filing tips to help nonprofit organizations prepare their Form 990 federal informational tax return, the primary document that groups file each year.
The latest batch of advice explains why only certain types of attachments to the Form 990 are permitted.
When the IRS redesigned the Form 990 for the 2008 tax year, it created a “core form” to be filed by all organizations and a series of schedules that some groups must also submit on such topics as executive compensation and noncash contributions.
The IRS included a Schedule O for reporting any information that does not fit on the core form or the other schedules.
“The form was redesigned, in part, to promote uniform reporting and to provide a structured format for attaching information to the form,” the IRS said in its new tips.
Thus, nonprofit organizations are allowed to attach only a few kinds of documents to the Form 990, the tax agency said, including a “name change amendment to [their] organizing document” and articles of merger or dissolution.
However, the IRS noted that “some software companies have experienced difficulties designing software for paper filings [of the form] that comports with all of the new form’s filing requirements regarding attachments in time for this filing season.”
Consequently, the tax agency said, “for the 2008 tax year the IRS will not penalize filers of Form 990 paper-filed returns for including separate statements or attachments generated by software” that would not normally be allowed.
But the revenue service said it will reject 2008 returns filed electronically that attempt to include attachments that are not permitted.