In June 2007, the IRS released a draft version of the form for discussion.

The IRS received hundreds of comments regarding the draft of Form 990, and incorporated many of them into the finalized version that was released in December 2007. The changes are summarized in an overview published by the IRS along with the new Form 990, IR-2007-204. In addition to restructuring the format of Form 990, the most significant changes include:

  • The opportunity to discuss the organization’s mission and accomplishments at the beginning of the form;
  • The deletion of ratios, percentages, and other numerical information from the summary page, and the addition of a two-year summary of financial information;
  • The addition of several schedules, most notably Schedule H, filed by hospitals, and Schedule K, filed by organizations financed by tax-exempt bonds; and
  • The inclusion of a checklist of schedules to clarify which ones an organization must file.

The IRS has said that it will release instructions to accompany Form 990 in early 2008, and the new Form 990 will be first used in 2009 (to reflect the 2008 tax year). However, to “ease the concern” voiced by many in the sector, the IRS established graduated transition periods. Organizations with gross receipts over $1 million or total assets greater than $2.5 million will be required to file the new Form 990 for the 2008 tax year. For the 2009 tax year, the figures will be reduced, so that organizations with gross receipts of more than $500,000 or total assets of more than $1.25 million will be required to use the new Form 990. Beginning with the 2010 tax year, organizations with gross receipts of $200,000 and $500,000 in total assets will need to file the new Form 990.

The Form 990, and more information regarding the changes made to the form, may be found on the IRS Web Site at  http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=176613,00.html.