Avoiding Form 990-PF Errors: Identifying Self-Dealing, Monitoring the Minimum Distribution Requirements, Calculating Excise Taxes

Note: CLE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, June 20, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This webinar will assist practitioners and foundation managers with tricky reporting issues encountered when preparing Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation. Preparing the 990-PF is complicated and not necessarily intuitive. The panel will discuss best reporting practices to avoid red flags in the return. The speakers will also address what does and does not need to be disclosed as well as steps a foundation can take to strengthen overall compliance.


Private foundations are organized for charitable purposes and required to make their annual 990-PF available for public inspection. These entities are vulnerable to at least five different excise taxes ranging from one percent to 200%. Lowering the net investment income tax to one percent may be doable, but advisers must determine when meeting the additional distribution requirements is beneficial for the foundation. Private foundations may compensate disqualified persons as long as the compensation is reasonable and necessary.

Private foundations are charged with doing good and must meet specific minimum distribution requirements. Often, more or less than the calculated minimum distribution is paid-out--both carry reporting conundrums. If the foundation is not generous enough in a given year, it is subject to an excise tax; if it is overly generous, it has an excess grant carryover to distribute in the future. Neglecting to include relative expenses as qualifying distributions is sited as a common preparation error by foundation experts.

Along with concerns about what the foundation should report, advisers must determine what should not be reported. The IRS List, Common Errors Made by Exempt Organizations, advises "Do not include unnecessary personal identifying information."

Listen as our panel provides line-by-line advice on reporting difficult private foundation transactions, points out how and when to avoid excise taxes, and explains steps that will facilitate the preparation of a foundation's Form 990-PF.



  1. Common private foundation reporting errors
  2. Avoiding and minimizing excise taxes
  3. Disclosing reportable transactions
  4. Avoiding over disclosure
  5. Recommendations to improve the preparation and presentation of a 990-PF


The panel will review these and other important issues:

  • Reporting, minimizing and avoiding private foundation excise taxes
  • Properly making required disclosures
  • Avoiding common reporting errors
  • Identifying disclosures that are not required


Blaney, Thomas
Thomas F. (Tom) Blaney

PKF O'Connor Davies

Mr. Blaney is a Partner of the Firm and Director of the Private Foundation Practice. He has spent more than 25 years...  |  Read More

Petermann, Christopher
Christopher D. Petermann

PKF O'Connor Davies

Mr. Petermann is a Partner of the Firm and serves as Co-Partner-in-Charge for the Private Foundation Practice. He has...  |  Read More

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