Exempt Organizations Update - e-News for Charities and Non-Profits

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EO Update June 2, 2011

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Issue Number:    2011-8

Inside This Issue

  1. IRS Requests Comments on Form 990 Related Issues
  2. Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities To Submit Recommendations
  3. Ten Things You Need to Know About the 2011 Tax Forums
  4. Providing Disaster Relief to Storm Victims
  5. Free Employment Tax Webinar For Tax Professionals
  6. IRS Accepting Applications for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Grants
  7. IRS Restricts Use of Term "Registered Tax Return Preparer"
  8. FBAR Filing Deadline Extended for Certain Financial Professionals

  1.  IRS Requests Comments on Form 990 Related Issues

The IRS extensively redesigned Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, for tax year 2008 to promote tax compliance and increase transparency. The IRS continues to refine the form in response to questions and comments from the public.  As the second filing season for the redesigned Form nears completion, the IRS has issued Announcement 2011-36 which invites public comments on transitional issues and frequently asked questions involving the redesigned Form 990.

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  2.  Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities To Submit Recommendations

The Internal Revenue Service’s Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) will hold a public meeting on June 15 and submit its latest round of recommendations to IRS leadership. The ACT makes recommendations on operational policies and procedures regarding employee retirement plans, tax-exempt organizations, tax-exempt bonds and federal, state, local and Indian tribal governments.

The Exempt Organization Subgroup will present a report entitled Group Exemptions –– Creating a Higher Degree of Transparency, Accountability, and Responsibility.

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  3.  Ten Things You Need to Know About the 2011 Tax Forums

The 2011 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums are three-day events presented by IRS experts and partner organizations offering up-to-date information on federal and state tax issues. Tax professionals that take advantage of early registration will receive a significant discount on the registration fee. Keep in mind that the early registration period closes two weeks prior to each forum.

Learn 10 things enrolled agents, certified public accountants, certified financial planners and other tax professionals need to know about the 2011 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums.

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  4.  Providing Disaster Relief to Storm Victims

When disasters strike, like the recent tornados and severe storms in Missouri, many people want to know how to help the victims.  Often it is more practical to contribute to the disaster relief efforts of an existing charity than to establish a new charitable organization.  IRS.gov offers many resources for charities and contributors interested in providing disaster relief through charitable organizations.

The IRS reminds taxpayers there are some simple steps they can take to ensure that a charity is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. Taxpayers who have a specific charity in mind can make sure that it is an eligible charity by doing a search on IRS.gov. Some organizations, such as churches or governments, may be qualified to receive deductible contributions even though they are not listed on IRS.gov.

IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, provides information on making contributions to charities. Publication 3833, Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance through Charitable Organizations, explains how the public can use charitable organizations to help victims of disasters, and how new organizations can obtain tax-exempt status.

Special tax law provisions may provide relief from certain time-sensitive requirements, including certain notice, filing, and election requirements when an affected area is a federally or Presidentially declared disaster area. Certain tax deadlines have been postponed in areas affected by the recent severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and associated flooding. Find information about all recent disaster declarations and tax relief granted on IRS.gov.  Charities are encouraged to review this list of certain acts required of exempt organizations that may be postponed in Presidentially declared disasters.

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  5.  Free Employment Tax Webinar For Tax Professionals

The IRS will present a free webinar for tax professionals entitled The Examination Process for Employment Tax Returns on June 22. The IRS Live broadcast will cover the employment tax examination process, taxpayer and appeal rights, settlement agreements and payment options.

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  6.  IRS Accepting Applications for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Grants

The Internal Revenue Service today announced the opening of the 2012 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grant application process. The LITC program funds organizations that serve low income individuals who have a tax controversy with the IRS, and provide outreach and education to taxpayers who speak English as a second language.

Examples of qualifying organizations include:

  • Clinical programs at accredited law, business or accounting schools whose students represent low income taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS; and
  • Organizations exempt from tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(a) that represent low income taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS or refer those taxpayers to qualified representatives.

Copies of the 2012 Grant Application Package and Guidelines, IRS Publication 3319, can be downloaded from IRS.gov or ordered by calling 1-800-829-3676. Applicants may file electronically at grants.gov. Those applying electronically should use the Funding Number TREAS-GRANTS-052012-001.#

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  7.  IRS Restricts Use of Term "Registered Tax Return Preparer"

The Internal Revenue Service has issued Notice 2011-45 which restricts the use of the term “registered tax return preparer.”  The IRS also issued TD 9527 containing final regulations governing practice before the IRS for tax preparers.

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  8.  FBAR Filing Deadline Extended for Certain Financial Professionals

The Internal Revenue Service and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced that a small subset of individuals with only signature authority required to file the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) will receive a one-year extension beyond the upcoming filing date of June 30, 2011.

All other U.S. persons required to file an FBAR this year are required to meet the June 30, 2011, filing date. Unlike with federal income tax returns, extensions of time to file are not available.

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If you have a technical or procedural question relating to Exempt Organizations, visit the Charities and Nonprofits homepage on the IRS.gov Web site.

If you have a specific question about exempt organizations, call EO Customer Account Services at 1-877-829-5500.

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