GuideStar Statement on New IRS Form 990 Draft

Draft revision released today
Release date: June 14, 2007
Williamsburg, Va., and Washington, D.C.—GuideStar, the leading provider of nonprofit information, applauds the IRS efforts to revise IRS Form 990, a draft of which the IRS released today.

"The revision of IRS Form 990 is an important development for the nonprofit sector and something that GuideStar has long encouraged," stated Bob Ottenhoff, GuideStar's president and CEO. "We commend the IRS for this major undertaking and encourage nonprofits and the public to take advantage of the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes before the September 14 deadline.

"The nonprofit sector has changed dramatically since the Form 990 was last revised, more than 25 years ago. Since the Form 990 is the only document that hundreds of thousands of nonprofits file every year, it is the only common denominator we have for examining exempt organizations' missions, programs, and finances. Revising the form required countless hours of intense work, and we commend the IRS for this effort.

"Finally, we urge people to remember that Form 990 is an information return used primarily for tax administration by the IRS. It is an important reporting document, but it tells only part of the story about nonprofits' good works. Because of the size of the nonprofit sector, it will always be difficult to have one form that fits all, and it is also inappropriate to make judgments about a nonprofit organization based on the Form 990 for only one year. That is why GuideStar is stepping up efforts to collect information directly from the nonprofits themselves. We encourage everyone to remember that, although the 990 is an important resource for learning about nonprofits' activities, it should never be the only resource for evaluating those activities."

About GuideStar

GuideStar, www.guidestar.org, connects people and organizations with information on the programs and finances of more than 1.5 million IRS-recognized nonprofits. GuideStar serves a wide audience inside and outside the nonprofit sector, including individual donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, government officials, academic researchers, and the media.

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Suzanne E. Coffman
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757-229-4631, ext. 27