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IRS Releases Changes to 2013 Form 990 and 990-EZ
Posted by Amy O’Loughlin on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 @ 12:40 PM

The IRS recently released the final 2013 Forms 990, 990-EZ and instructions. Although titled “Significant Changes,” it is a misnomer as the changes are not major. There were no changes to the form itself, though the IRS did make a number of revisions and clarifications to the instructions. We have entered the period of “IRS Fine Tuning.”

Since the major redesign to Form 990 in 2008, the IRS has made revisions to the Form each year to address changes made in the laws affecting tax-exempt organizations. While there were a number of changes to this year’s filing instructions, most involve fine-tuning and clarifying existing requirements rather than any large-scale changes or additions to the types of information required of 990 filers.

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Topics: IRS, IRS Updates, Form 990, Form 990-EZ, Amy O’Loughlin

Be Sure to File Massachusetts Form 3ABC on Time
Posted by Kristen Shepley on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 @ 09:54 AM
Eligible charitable organizations are permitted exemptions for certain personal and real property. A privilege allowed by the Massachusetts state legislature, this exemption from local taxation releases a property owner from the obligation to pay all or a portion of the taxes assessed on a parcel of property.

To ensure eligibility for this exemption, any Massachusetts-domiciled charity that owns real or personal property on January 1 of a given year must file Form 3ABC on or before March 1 of that year.  Further, the charity must affix to Form 3ABC a "true copy" of the organization’s most recent annual report to the Public Charities Division of the Office of the Attorney General (Form PC) unless the organization is a religious, fraternal or veteran organization and is not required to file Form PC.

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Topics: non-for-profit, Form 3ABC

FASB Recommends Changes to Cash Flow Statements and Statements of Functional Expenses Reporting
Posted by Brendan Donovan on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 @ 04:45 PM

As part of the not-for-profit financial statement project in the fourth quarter of 2013, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) recommended changes in the reporting requirements for cash flow statements and the statement of functional expenses.

Cash Flow Statements

FASB tentatively decided to require not-for-profits (NFPs) to use the direct method when presenting cash flows from operating activities and removed the requirement to reconcile the change in net assets to net cash flows from operating activities (the indirect method). According to FASB, the direct method, which is already used to present cash flows from investing and financing activities, would “improve the usefulness of the Statement of Cash Flows (SoCF) by providing more meaningful information” to users of NFP financial statements.

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Topics: Brendan Donovan, FASB, Functional Expenses Reporting, Cash Flow Statement

IRS Aims to Help Not-for-Profit Employers Avoid Common 403(b) Plan Errors
Posted by Bernard Kaplan on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 @ 10:26 AM

In an effort to make 403(b) plan sponsors aware of common mistakes made by not-for-profit entities and educational institutions administering such plans, in December 2013 the IRS updated two publications that relate to such plans. According to the IRS, “It is important to know the tax rules that apply to your 403(b) plan and to pay attention to the operation of your plan so you can maximize your employees’ retirement benefits, comply with the law, and avoid additional taxes and penalties.”

The publications – Publication 4482, 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuities for Participants and Publication 4483, 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans for Sponsors – list mistakes the agency commonly finds in these plans. In addition, 4482 also provides an overview of 403(b) plan features. The other publication offers information on several IRS products and services available to assist plan sponsors in keeping things running smoothly.

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Topics: non-for-profit, IRS, IRS Updates, Bernard Kaplan, 403(b)

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