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Non-Profit Organizations

How to Make Tax Time a Little Less Painful: A Checklist

By January 2, 2019No Comments

Now that 2018 has come to an end, tax time is just around the corner! As the 2019 busy season creeps up on us, it becomes increasingly important to begin gathering any documents and information necessary to prepare tax returns. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of all of those items, or to even know what is relevant.

In an effort to make this process as easy and painless as possible, Lindsay and Brownell has created a checklist of the most common questions we ask, and the items we typically need when preparing your nonprofit tax returns. By providing us with this information, it will help reduce the time needed to prepare your return as well as eliminate some of the back and forth resulting from open items or unanswered questions.

Return of Public Foundation (Form 990)

General

  1. Since formation, has there been a name or address change?

Part I – Summary

  1. Any changes to the organization’s mission or most significant activities?
  2. Any changes to board of directors and voting members?
  3. Total number of individuals employed during the calendar year.
    1. If relevant, enclose W-2(s).
  4. Total number of volunteers (estimate if necessary).
  5. Enclose the trial balance or financial statements.
  6. Did the organization earn any investment income?
    1. If yes, enclose the year-end statements showing year-to-date income.
  7. Were any grants paid?
    1. If yes, enclose the name, address, date, and amount for each.
  8. Did the organization conduct any fundraising activities?
    1. If yes, provide income and expenses related to the largest two fundraising events.

Part III – Statement of Program Service Accomplishments

  1. Were there any changes to your 3 largest program expenses? If no, skip this section and move to part IV.
  2. If yes, what were the three largest program services?
    1. Include a brief description of the activity, as well as any revenue, grants, and expenses for each activity.

Part IV – Checklist of Required Schedules

See Checklist Provided Below

Checklist

Part V – Statements Regarding Other IRS Filings

  1. Provide the number reported in Box 3 of Form 1096.

Part VII – Compensation of officers, directors, etc.

  1. Were any directors or officers compensated for their services?
    1. If yes, include Forms W-2 (regardless of whether the organization runs on fiscal or calendar year).
  2. Were any employees compensated more than $100,000?
    1. If yes, include Forms W-2.

Part VIII – Statement of Revenue

  1. Provide a list of all donations received including donor name, date, and donation amount.

Part IX – Statement of Functional Expenses

Provide allocations for each expense account among program service expenses, management and general expenses, and fundraising expenses. Please also make note of which activity each program service expense relates to.

Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF)

General

  1. Since formation, has there been a name or address change?

Part I – Analysis of Revenue and Expenses

  1. Enclose the trial balance or financial statements.
  2. Did the organization earn any investment income?
    1. If yes, include year-end statements.

Part II – Balance Sheets

  1. Did the organization hold any investments in stock or bonds?
    1. If yes, include monthly statements indicating cost basis and fair market value for all cash and security accounts.

Part IV – Capital Gains and Losses

  1. Were any securities or investments sold?
    1. If yes, include Form 1099 or year-end statements showing the proceeds and basis of all investments sold.

Part VIII – Information about Officers, Directors, Trustees, etc.

  1. Were there any changes to the board of directors?
  2. Were any directors or officers compensated for their services?
    1. If yes, include Forms W-2.
  3. Were any employees compensated more than $100,000?
    1. If yes, include Forms W-2.
  4. Were any independent contractors paid more than $50,000?
    1. If yes, include the name, address, type of service description, and amounts paid.

Part XV – Supplementary Information

  1. Were any grants paid?
    1. If yes, enclose the name, address, date, purpose of grant, and amount for each.

In addition to this checklist, we have attached a questionnaire which can help determine if any additional schedules are required. If this is the case, we can send you a detailed spreadsheet that can be filled out and sent back to us to provide additional information needed for the schedule(s). Although these are helpful tools, they may not be all-inclusive for your specific not-for-profit organization. If you have any questions regarding whether certain information is relevant to your nonprofit tax return, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (858) 558-9200

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