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Online accountability – 990 tax-return forms going on Web

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Financial data on 61,000 private foundations will be available on the Web this Monday.

In an ongoing joint project that aims to make the nonprofit sector more accountable, Guidestar and the National Center for Charitable Statistics will add the data to information it published on the Web in October 1999 on 220,000 public charities.

The information on private foundations will include complete 990PF tax forms that the organizations are required to file with the Internal Revenue Service.

Of the data filed in October, complete tax forms are available online for about 30,000 organizations. Summaries of information included in tax-form returns is available for the remaining 190,000 public charities.

Starting in April, Guidestar and the National Center for Charitable Statistics, an arm of the Urban Institute, will begin each month to add complete tax information for 35,000 additional public charities.

Complete information for all 220,000 public charities should be posted in about six months, says Debra Snider, Guidestar’s director of communications.

In addition to publishing data included in tax forms, Guidestar allows individual nonprofits and private foundations to publish information about their organizations, as well as news releases, newsletters and classified advertisements.

Organizations also can use the Guidestar site to publish links to their own Web sites.

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