Online IRS filing backed

The Internal Revenue Service should go ahead with plans to let nonprofits file their annual Form 990 tax returns electronically starting in 2004, coalition of nonprofit groups says.

The Electronic Data Initiative for Nonprofits also released a survey that found nearly 73 percent of nonprofits were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to Form 990 and state registration documents electronically if they could.

The survey also found that 88 percent of nonprofits have access to the Internet, including 74 percent of groups with no employees and 88 percent of groups with fewer than 10 employees.

Electronic filing could improve oversight of nonprofits, while cutting the time and cost of meeting government and funders’ requirements for submitting data, the coalition told the IRS.

It also said nonprofit groups want to be sure they get the tools and training they need to limit the time and cost of filing electronically, and that data on donors would be kept confidential

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