This quarterly newsletter provides recent updates and education information important to Arizona STOs.

Due Date Reminders

February 15, 2017 – Form 990 or 990-EZ due date for June 30, 2016 returns properly extended by November 15, 2016.
April 18, 2017 – Last day tax credit year 2016 contributions can be collected from donors.
May 15, 2017 – 2016 Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N (e-postcard) is due to be filed with the IRS for entities on a calendar year (ending December 31, 2016).

5 Things You May Not Know About IRS Form 990

The IRS full Form 990 is a complex form, with over 300 pages of instructions and 300 possible questions to answer. Here are five things you may not know about Form 990:
  1. It is a misnomer to call Form 990 an “income tax return.” There is no income tax calculation in the core Form 990 or within any of the accompanying schedules. 
  1. There are 16 possible schedules that can be attached to the core Form 990. There is, however, only one schedule that must be attached to every Form 990 that is filed: Schedule O, which is used to report required and supplemental information to the form.
  1. Some organizations get tripped up on reporting of lobbying expenses. Lobbying expenses are those amounts paid for activities intended to influence legislation, be it foreign, national, state or local. The IRS makes the distinction between direct lobbying and grassroots lobbying. 
  1. Your organization is being watched. Form 990 is heavily scrutinized, not only by the IRS, but also by state regulatory entities that use it to investigate exempt organizations operating in their states. Readers have various motives for looking at the form, so it is important to look at it with an eye toward how all potential readers will react to the information being presented.
  1. In many instances, you cannot just check a box and be done. It is vital to read the instructions carefully, as additional information might be required to be disclosed.
See the full article at the AICPA website

#GivingTuesday Continues to Grow

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 represented the fifth annual #GivingTuesday. Since its inception in 2012, the day has experienced a 317% increase in online donations. The number of nonprofits receiving online donations in 2016 increased by 97% over the number in 2012. Donations in 2016 increased by 20% over donations in 2015 (to a total of $47.7 million online donations processed by Blackbaud from U.S. nonprofits).

#GivingTuesday in 2017 will fall on November 28th, so you might consider having your organization participate next year. Toolkits can be downloaded at the website. 

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