Not-for-Profit Tax Compliance Resources
The following resources are created and intended as an individual benefit of AICPA Not-for-Profit Section membership. The materials are copyrighted and may not be used without permission this includes any further distribution of the materials (including posting on a website)..
These resources are designed as educational and reference material; they do not establish standards or preferred practices, and they are subject to change. Where specific permission is granted for use (not distribution or posting), users are responsible for final content; please review those resources carefully and make any changes necessary for your specific use.
Note: Please be aware as you are browsing and downloading resources that we are currently in the process of updating many of them for new FASB standards becoming effective.
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Bookmark and monitor this page for the latest IRS guidance and COVID-19-related legislation. You will also find resources to help you and your clients understand and address the various changes as they continue to unfold, including FAQs, client letters, and a CARES Act Stimulus Calculator.
Form 990 Resources
Podcast: Tips to Ease the Stress of Form 990 Preparation
Form 990 is complex and comprehensive. The tips discussed during this podcast will help tax-exempt not-for-profits successfully prepare these forms.
The Trouble With Filing an Incomplete Form 990
The IRS treats an incomplete Form 990 as a return never filed, so it’s critical that preparers include all the required information. This article highlights the most common reasons Forms 990 are considered incomplete and offers tips to ensure you don’t make this mistake.
Form 990: 20 Filing Mistakes to Avoid
Read about 20 of the most common errors made when preparing or reviewing IRS Form 990.
Form 990 Part VI: Governance, Management, and Disclosure
This article walks through Part VI of IRS Form 990 line by line and offers key considerations, as well as additional tools and resources to help preparers.
Form 990-PF: Most Common Errors
This article describes the most common errors made when preparing IRS Form 990-PF for private foundations.
Overview of Form 990 Series of Returns (PDF)
This article provides an overview of the key components and schedules of each of the forms in the 990 series of returns.
Form 990 Red Flags for 501(c)(3) Charitable Organizations (PDF)
This article is intended to be used as a guide for a Form 990 reviewer to identify potential red flags that should be examined or considered prior to filing.
Differences Between GAAP Financial Statements vs Form 990 (PDF)
Do you know the differences between the requirements of GAAP and the required presentation of financial information in Form 990? This reference chart will help you understand the key reconciling differences.
Form 990: Learn from the Experts
Visit the NFP webcast archive to view this webcast. Look for the date, December 12, 2018.
Form 990 Schedule-Specific Resources:
Forms 990 and 990-EZ: Couldn’t we all use some support?
Support is an important issue for public charities. Here's what you need to know about the support tests of Form 990 Schedule A so you can retain the benefits of having the public charity classification.
Navigating the Challenges of Schedule A – Public Support Test
Schedule A is required by most U.S. charities that file Form 990 (or Form 990-EZ). Learn how to navigate this challenging schedule's public support tests.
The Ins and Outs of Schedule B
Schedule B, the Schedule of Contributors for exempt organizations preparing and filing the Form 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF, generally is filed annually by any organization receiving contributions in excess of $5,000 from a single donor. Learn more about the intricacies of this complicated requirement.
Compliance Brief: Reporting Political Activities and Lobbying (PDF)
Get an overview of Form 990 Schedule C reporting considerations for tax-exempt entities.
Demystifying Form 990 Schedule L (PDF)
Download our quick reference guide to help reviewers and preparers of Form 990 understand the key requirements of IRS Form 990 Schedule L, Transactions With Interested Persons.
Tell Your Not-for-Profit's Story with Form 990 Schedule O
This article covers the basic requirements of Schedule O and, equally important, ways to use it to tell your not-for-profit organization's story.
Form 990 Preparation Checklists:
- Form 990 Organizer (PDF)
- Form 990 Checklist (PDF)
- Form 990-EZ Checklist (PDF)
- Form 990-PF Checklist (PDF)
- Form 990-T Checklist (PDF)
Terms and Notice for Readers
The Form 990 Checklists are used by tax preparers and reviewers to ensure compliance with reporting and documentation requirements, as well as to identify planning opportunities and potential exam or audit risks on the Form 990 series of returns. The Form 990 Organizer is a client-facing document meant to assist in the collection of client information necessary to prepare a Form 990.The Form 990 Checklists and Organizer do not cover all nuances and circumstances, nor are they intended to be a substitute for thoroughly reading and understanding the Form 990 series of returns, their schedules, and the accompanying instructions
The Form 990 Checklists and Form 990 Organizer are created by and copyrighted to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), which reserves all rights. Access is intended as an individual benefit of AICPA Not-for-Profit Section and Tax Section membership. These resources are designed as educational and reference material; they do not establish standards or preferred practices, and they are subject to change. Users are responsible for final content; please review these resources carefully and make any changes necessary for your specific use.
Compliance Issues for NFPs
Can your not-for-profit pick a presidential candidate?
The IRS has specific prohibitions against campaigning by tax-exempt organizations. Consider the following tax compliance scenario Q&As that may be relevant to your organization's political activities.
Key Strategies for Form 990 Filers to Avoid the Ire of the IRS
Understand key areas of IRS scrutiny, practice good governance, and ensure that your nonprofit organization is putting its best foot forward with the IRS.
Exempt Organization Executive Compensation: Compliance and Curiosity
Compliance is critical given the IRS's focus on executive compensation arrangements. Here's how the IRS—and the public—are watching exempt organizations in this area, and how the enactment of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the stakes for exempt organization executive compensation.
Nonprofits and Legislative Activity: Peaceful Co-existence?
Not-for-profit and governmental activities often intersect, as nonprofits seek to influence the actions of federal, state, local, school board, and other authorities. This article presents key considerations to keep nonprofits on the road to success with political activity.
Are Gaming Activities Worth the Gamble?
Special events are a popular way to raise money for good causes. When those events include gaming activities, they can draw big crowds with even bigger pocket books. However, beware: overlooking the compliance requirements can land a not-for-profit organization in hot water with federal and state regulators.
Compliance Issues for Fundraising Organizations
Special events generate a great deal of excitement, but they can also result in headaches if compliance issues are overlooked. This article summarizes some of the biggest compliance-related challenges associated with special events and gaming activities.
FAQs: Tax-Exempt Church Schools
Churches face a number of unique tax compliance considerations, filing requirements (and exceptions) that don't apply to other tax-exempt not-for-profits. This list of frequently asked questions regarding church schools was created to help eliminate any resulting confusion.
What You Need to Know About Student Fundraising
Do you help raise money for school activities? Your involvement can be rewarding and make a big difference in the quality of the program. However, you should be aware of the related tax implications. This article features common misconceptions and FAQs, as well as dos and don’ts.
Is Your Parent Association Compliant?
If you have children involved in activities, chances are you are involved with or are a member of one or more parent association(s) to support those activities. Here are some questions to ask that will help you ensure these organizations are following applicable regulations.
Creative Fundraising Ideas from a Tax Perspective
Today’s nonprofits are using many contemporary, creative, and exciting fundraising methods. It's important to plan for these types of events and ventures carefully and deploy them strategically. This article covers key considerations to keep in mind from a tax-compliance perspective.
Overview of Laws Regarding Charitable Solicitation and Registration Requirements
Learn about registration requirements and initiatives to simplify and clarify the registration process. Topics discussed include the Unified Registration Statement (URS) and Charleston Principles that apply to entities that use a website to solicit contributions.
UBIT Primer: What All Nonprofits Should Know (PDF)
Unrelated business income tax (UBIT) can cause headaches for many who work with tax exempt organizations. Be it a college, hospital, church, outreach group, or local chapter of a national organization, all need to know about UBIT – and how these rules might affect their organization.
How to Claim your Parking Tax (UBIT) Refund
After the retroactive repeal of I.R.C. Section 512(a)(7), aka the “parking tax,” many nonprofits are wondering how to claim a refund of the unrelated business income tax they paid on disallowed fringe benefits. The IRS has said amended returns will be required.
* Please note that the "parking tax" provision in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was repealed on December 20, 2019. Podcasts and webcasts covering the broader topic of tax reform for NFPs, including its effects on UBIT, have not been updated to reflect this change.
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