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Questions From "Demystifying the Form 990" Free GuideStar Webinar

The following is a follow-up of additional questions viewers had from our form 990 webinar on April 15th, 2015 with Polsinelli PC and Capin Crouse LLP titled "Demystifying the Form 990: Tips, tricks, and traps of the Form 990.” To view the full slides and recording of the webinar, click here under "Recent Webinars."

1. Must the Form 990-T be publicly disclosed?

All Section 501(c)(3) organizations must make their Form 990-T available for public inspection and copy. This requirement applies to each Form 990-T for a three-year period beginning with the due date of the return (with extensions).

2. Should unpaid directors be treated as volunteers?

Yes, unpaid directors should be treated as volunteers of the organization for Form 990 reporting purposes.

3. Can board members be compensated?

While many tax-exempt organizations (especially charities) do not compensate their directors, the payment of reasonable directors fees is allowable.

4. Does an organization list all of its directors on the Form 990 or only the ones serving at the end of the fiscal year?

For purposes of the questions on the size of the governing body in Part VI of the Form 990, an organization is instructed to list the number of members of the governing body as of the end of the organization’s fiscal year. For purposes of Part VII reporting, organizations are instructed to list as a current officer or director any person who was a current officer or director at any time during the reporting year even if the person is not an officer or director at the end of the year.

5. Should contributions of disqualified persons be combined with gifts paid from a donor-advised fund for purposes of Schedule A and Schedule B reporting?

No. A grant from a donor-advised fund is treated as a grant from the sponsoring organization rather than from the donor-advisor and therefore should not be combined with personal gifts from the donor-advisor.

Virginia Gross Virginia Gross

Virginia C. Gross is a shareholder with Polsinelli PC concentrating her practice on nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations law. Virginia Gross counsels nonprofit organizations on all aspects of tax-exempt organizations law, such as the formation, qualification, activities, and business ventures of nonprofit organizations. She advises nonprofit clients on issues regarding their operations, fundraising practices, grant-making, unrelated business income planning, joint venturing and partnering, and the use of supporting organizations and for-profit subsidiaries. Clients include charitable and educational organizations, private foundations, healthcare entities, associations, supporting organizations, social welfare organizations, and social clubs. Virginia Gross has worked with numerous nonprofit boards of directors and trustees regarding governance and best practices matters.

Ms. Gross is a frequent writer and speaker on nonprofit law topics. Her publications include Nonprofit Governance: Law, Practices & Trends, Nonprofit Law for Colleges and Universities, Nonprofit Governance: Law, Practices and Trends, and The New Form 990: Law, Policy, and Preparation.


Dave is dedicated to meeting client needs in the exempt organization tax arena through review of client returns, consulting engagements, training, and the compilation of our annual Higher Education Tax Reporting Trends Project.
Before joining CapinCrouse, Dave served as tax director and the not-for-profit tax lead in Florida for the accounting firm McGladrey. He provided tax consulting services to more than 450 clients. He has extensive experience in working with 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and 501(c)(6) organizations and related combinations of these entities.

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