Starting and Managing a Nonprofit Organization: A Legal Guide

By Bruce R. Hopkins | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN
Tax Exemption: Not a
Paperwork Exemption
Nonprofit organizations have not escaped the burdens of governmental regulation— the returns, reports, and other paperwork demanded by federal, state, and some local governments. Two major sets of reporting obligations have been discussed—those applicable in connection with the process of applying for recognition of tax-exempt status (Chapter 6) and the requirement for most tax-exempt organizations to file an annual information return (Chapter 9).This chapter reviews the other reporting requirements for most nonprofit organizations. This summary covers only the basics, particularly when it comes to state and local requirements. Some reporting requirements are unique to certain types of nonprofit organizations. Other nonprofit organizations (churches are the best example) may be exempt from one or more reporting requirements that most others have to face.Some nonprofit organizations have to comply with reporting requirements that are not directly imposed by government. For example, a nonprofit organization that receives a grant usually owes a periodic report to the grantor. A supporting organization may be expected to submit information to its supported organization or organizations (see Chapter 7). A nonprofit organization that is under a group exemption (see Chapter 6) may report annually to the central organization, for the purpose of preparing combined information returns. A nonprofit organization that reports to one or more of the euphemistically termed voluntary watchdog agencies can expect at least annual scrutiny (see Chapter 21).
(a) Private Foundation Reporting
The annual information return for private foundations (Form 990-PF) must include
An itemized statement of the foundation’s support, expenses, assets, and liabilities
A report of capital gains and losses
A calculation of the excise tax on net investment income
An information statement concerning any legislative or political campaign activities
An information statement concerning any acts of self-dealing, mandatory payout, excess business holdings, jeopardy investments, or taxable expenditures

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