May 15, is the filing Deadline for tax-exempt organizations filing Form
990-series information returns and notices quickly approaches, here are
two important reminders for protecting personal information:
First, make sure you file Form 990 if you are required to file.
Filing the form is very important for many groups who are at risk of
losing their tax exemption.
Second, do not include Social Security numbers on Form 990 when
file the form. Including unnecessary personally identifiable
information such as SSNs or other unrequested personal information
could lead to identity theft.
In addition, here are seven tips to protect your exempt status and the
information of your donors, clients, benefactors and administrators:
1. Certain organizations must file Form 990, Return of Organization
Exempt From Income Tax. The annual form reports information about the
mission, programs and finances of the filer. The due date for many
groups to file their form is May 15.
2. Most groups must file a Form 990-series return or notice with the
IRS. If they fail to file their annual report for three consecutive
years, the law automatically revokes their federal tax exemption.
3. The law also requires that the IRS and most organizations make most
parts of their filed forms available to the public. This includes
schedules and attachments filed with the form.
4. Forms made available to the public include Forms 990, 990-EZ and
990-PF. All are marked "Open to Public Inspection" in the top right
hand corner of the first page.
5. Generally, the IRS does not ask for SSNs on these forms. The forms'
instructions have a caution to filers not to include them on the form.
6. Don't include personal information that's not needed on Form 990.
For example, including a person's mailing address may put them at risk.
7. Organizations should e-file their tax forms. E-file lowers the risk
of including SSNs or other unneeded personal information.
Barry Eisenberg, SCORE Counselor
visit us at: www.scoresouthflorida.net