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Legislative and IRS Updates, October 2007

Student Loan Forgiveness for Public Charity Employees

Note: The following discussion is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. For specific information about the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, consult your attorney.
Signed into law September 27, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act includes a provision allowing the secretary of Education to forgive the balance of federal student loans held by public service employees who (a) have not defaulted on their loans, (b) have made monthly payments on their loans for 120 consecutive months after October 1, 2007, and (c) were employed full-time in a public service job during the entire 120 months during which they made the payments. The law includes employment "at an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code" (i.e., a public charity) in the definition of "public service job."

Law [H.R.2669.ENR] (Click on the sixth link to read the text of the law)

Form 990-N FAQs

The IRS has posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to Form 990-N. Also known as the "e-Postcard," Form 990-N is a new information return that many smaller exempt organizations will be required to begin filing in 2008.

The FAQs are available on the IRS Web site. The questions include "Is there a new filing requirement for small tax-exempt organizations?" "Why do I need to provide this information?" and "What happens if I fail to file the e-Postcard or Form 990 or 990-EZ?" There is also a link to a printable version of all 14 questions and answers.

Background information on Form 990-N

2007 Workshops for Small and Mid-Sized 501(c)(3) Organizations

In November and December 2007, the IRS will be offering one-day workshops for small and mid-sized section 501(c)(3) exempt organizations. These introductory workshops are designed for administrators or volunteers who are responsible for an organization's tax compliance. Each workshop will be presented by experienced Exempt Organizations staff members and will cover the following topics:
  • Tax-Exempt Status–Benefits and responsibilities of tax-exempt status under
    section 501(c)(3) and actions that may jeopardize an organization's tax-exempt status.
  • Unrelated Business Income–The definition of unrelated business income, common examples, common exceptions, and filing requirements; includes a discussion of charitable gaming.
  • Employment Issues–Classification of workers and filing requirements for employees and independent contractors.
  • Form 990–An explanation of the Form 990, tips on record-keeping, and advice for completing the return; includes a discussion on the new "e-Postcard" filing requirement.
  • Required Disclosures–Overview of disclosures tax-exempt organizations are required to make, including new requirements imposed by the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Dates and Locations

  • November 13, 14, 15–Salt Lake City, Utah
  • December 4, 5, 6–Columbia, S.C.
  • December 18, 19, 20–Sacramento, Calif.
See more information >

Suzanne E. Coffman, October 2007
© 2007, Philanthropic Research, Inc. (GuideStar)

Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar's director of communications and editor of the Newsletter.
Topics: Law and Regulations