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Why IRS Form 990 is so Important for Your Nonprofit Organization

Many nonprofit organizations and their CPA’s and attorneys don’t realize the serious penalties imposed by the IRS for filing Form 990 late, or for filing an incomplete return.

Did you know that simply failing to check a box and forgetting to attach a Schedule B to the Form 990 can result in penalties?

I hope after watching the video above you’ll see the necessity of devoting some of your organization’s resources to preparing a proper and timely Form 990. A well-prepared Form 990 creates transparency and trust in the community and makes donors feel more comfortable that their money is truly being put to good use.

Address to File Form 990-PF with Florida Attorney General

Form 990-PF image

Federal Treasury Regulation 1.6033-3(c)(1) and the IRS instructions to Form 990-PF require that a private foundation furnish a copy of its Form 990-PF to the attorney general of the state where the foundation’s principal office is located and the state in which the foundation was incorporated or created. A copy of the annual return must be sent to the attorney general at the same time the annual return is filed with the IRS. “Contemporaneously,” as the IRS likes to say.

Are you having trouble figuring out who to send it to? I finally got in touch with the right person at the Florida AG’s office and learned that they do in fact accept Form 990-PF from private foundations.

Here is where you send it as of November 2012:

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office
The Capitol
Room PL01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050

Note that Pam Bondi is the current Florida AG.¬† You would naturally need to replace Bondi’s name with whomever is the current AG at the time of filing.

Several years ago I had called the AG’s office to inquire about where to send the 990-PF and was told that they didn’t want it and had no idea what I was talking about. So if you’ve just been checking “yes” on the 990-PF and then not filing with the AG, I wouldn’t worry.

I just called again and reached a more knowledgeable person¬† and was told that because of the IRS requirement (it’s not a state requirement), they have been accepting the 990-PF’s for about 16 years. The state apparently doesn’t do anything with them other than put them in a file.

Here’s an excerpt from the IRS instructions to the 2011 Form 990-PF:

IRS requires Form 990-PF to be furnished to state Attorney General

What About Schedule B?

Do you have to send Schedule B to the Attorney General as part of the 990-PF? Yes, for purposes of Form 990-PF, Schedule B is open to public inspection. On the 990-PF filing, the donors’ names and addresses are not protected as they are on Form 990 or 990-EZ. See IRS Schedule B instructions for documentation of this point. You’ll find a section called “Public Inspection” in the General Instructions that are appended to the end of the Schedule B.

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