IRS Panel Recommends Mandatory E-Filing of Form 990s

The Internal Revenue Service's Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities has called for the agency to require nonprofits to file financial data electronically, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.

According to the committee, a survey (258 pages, PDF) of four hundred and sixty-eight nonprofits found that fewer than 2 percent of organizations that file the financial form for tax-exempt organizations considered mandatory e-filing a burden. Large nonprofits already are required to file electronically, and the smallest file the 990-N, also known as the "e-postcard," which has always been electronic.

The panel's recommendation to support a congressional mandate to require electronic filing of 990s includes a number of interim measures, including extending the filing deadline for organizations that do so electronically. The proposal follows the announcement earlier in the week that the Treasury Department had dropped its appeal of a court order and released electronic filings from nine organizations to open-records activist Carl Malamud.

In brief remarks to the panel, IRS commissioner John Koskinen said he would consider the recommendations, which also included changes in tribal, state, and local government tax policy and rules governing tax-exempt bonds. "We're going to play the hand we’re dealt," he said. "We're under significant financial constraints."

Alex Daniels. "IRS Advisory Panel Calls for Mandatory Electronic Filing of Form 990s." Chronicle of Philanthropy 06/17/2015.