Form 990-PF Disclosure Requirements

Tax Professionals' Resource
May 18, 2012 — 1,241 views  
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The Form 990-PF is public information that private foundations must make public by request. According to federal regulations, a private foundation is required to produce photocopies of its three most recent tax returns to any person who requests the documents in person, in writing or by computer. The Form 990-PF copies are to be made available on a same-day basis for walk-ins, and within 30 days of the initial request from all other requesters.

A private foundation must be made aware of the Form 990-PF disclosure requirements so that when the time comes to provide detailed documents, the proper resources are already in place. Here are the basic requirements:

1. All organizations will be required to send copies of their three most recent Form 990-PFs, Form 1023 and form to apply for tax-exempt status to anyone who requests the information.

2. Charities may charge a reasonable fee per request for copying and mailing the forms. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines reasonable as one dollar for the first page and 15 cents for each subsequent page.

3. Nonprofits can require advance payment of the copying and mailing fees. The 30-day limit would not begin until the organization received the payment.

4. Organizations can streamline the process and make it easier for all parties by posting these files online.

5. Nonprofits are subject to fines of up to $20 for every day they fall behind in providing the appropriate forms to people who have requested them. What's more, a $5,000 penalty for knowingly failing to provide documents may also be applied.

6. If an organization feels constant requests are getting in the way of productivity, it can contact the IRS and work on ways to prevent harassment campaigns from moving forward in the future.

7. Private foundations and public organizations must follow the same laws. However, a private corporation has limits on its holdings in private business.

8.) In addition, there are provisions to prevent investments from harming the future of exempt purposes.

A private foundation cannot be tax exempt, so it must follow the Form 990-PF requests in order to avoid fines or penalties. Business owners who want to make the process easier for all parties involved may want to find ways to make it easier for people to obtain documents whenever they desire. Hosting 990-PF files online may be the easy solution, as the documents can be downloaded by anyone who wants to take a closer look.

Tax Professionals' Resource