The digital age created a new standard for your operations. Not-for-profit organizations no longer need brick-and-mortar locations to deliver services, and employees do not need to be physically present in your building in order to work for your organization. Online gift shops and bookstores may also necessitate tax filings in multiple states.
sales and use tax,
unrelated business income (UBI)
Most professionals think hard about getting a job. Choosing the right outfit. Acing the interview. Negotiating a fair salary and benefits package. But rarely is much thought given to leaving a job until that day draws near. That can cause a wave of trouble for a not-for-profit organization, especially when the founder or long-time executive is ready to walk out the door one last time. Boards and executives who take a proactive approach to saying adiós can ease the transition to new leadership and help ensure stability in their organizations.
Not-for-profit organizations walk a fine line with their compensation arrangements. The IRS and the public keep a close eye on executive pay. At the same time, organizations need to offer a competitive compensation package in order to attract and retain the right talent.
employee benefit plan,
Over the last few years, we have seen some clear trends and evolving practices on governance and risk management. This summary will allow you to assess some best practices we have observed so you can evaluate ideas and opportunities for possible improvement or evolution within your own not-for-profit organization.
Human and social service organizations that contract with Massachusetts take note: new guidance is available for their 2015 fiscal year reporting. The Massachusetts Operational Services Division recently published the 2015 version of the Uniform Financial Statements and Independent Auditor’s Report (UFR) Audit and Preparation Manual, Compliance Supplement and 2015 Excel UFR Template.
The IRS is developing a technology solution that would streamline its ability to release digital copies of the Form 990 tax information filings. An announcement about the option comes on the heels of
a U.S. district court ruling
that ordered the IRS to produce digitally readable Forms 990 of nine organizations. Currently, the IRS releases digital copies of Forms 990 as image files. The new software would produce versions of the Forms 990 in the Metadata Exchange Format, also known as a machine-readable format and remove any personally identifiable information from the Form 990. It is slated for release in early 2016.
Catastrophe happens when an already devastating event—sexual assault in an academic setting—gets mishandled. Failing to comply with Title IX requirements can signal disastrous consequences for the alleged victim, the community, the university’s reputation and its financial backing.
The IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Governmental Agencies (ACT) recently made recommendations for how the IRS can modify the Form 990 to improve its utility. In its
2015 Report of Recommendations
to the IRS, the ACT asked for mandatory electronic filing of the Form 990 series and that the IRS collect additional information from entities filing the Form 990-N, among other updates to the annual informational filing series for not-for-profit organizations.
Users of not-for-profit financial statements want transparency, and emerging reporting requirements aim to provide it. Recent updates from the federal government and from Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) require more visibility into how not-for-profit organizations manage their resources. Not-for-profits need to monitor these updates and what they mean not only for their current year-ends, but for future reporting practices. Several requirements effective now and with impending effective dates will likely be key points for the auditor of your financial statements.
Your organization’s website can be a dangerous tool if it falls into the wrong hands. Unauthorized users may use the reputation of your not-for-profit organization to promote their spam websites, or they may distribute malware through your website to access sensitive information about your organization, its shareholders and its website users.
triage a website breach