New Form 990 spurs adoption of new policies

Though the revised Form 990 is due for the 2008 tax year, more than half of nonprofits still have not put policies in place for board members to review the form, says a survey by Grant Thornton business advisors.

However, the percentage of nonprofits with such a policy in place has jumped to 45 percent from 30 percent in the last year.

The new Form 990, the first major overhaul to the IRS’s financial reporting document since 1979, includes questions about whether nonprofits have put policies in place regarding whistle-blowers, conflicts of interest and record retention.

In the last year, 15 percent of nonprofits adopted policies regarding record retention, says the “National Board Governance Survey for Not-for-Profit Organizations,” while 12 percent have established whistle-blower policies and 8 percent have adopted conflict-of-interest policies.

“The new Form 990 is driving a higher level of accountability within not-for-profit organizations,” Frank L. Kurre, national managing partner of Grant Thornton’s nonprofit practice, says in a statement. “With its specific and detailed disclosure requirements, many organizations are reexamining their governance policies with an eye towards greater transparency.”

Grant Thornton International, serving clients in more than 100 countries, is a global audit, tax and advisory organization.

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