Form 990 Challenges for Tax Advisers to Nonprofit Entities

Identifying Areas of IRS Scrutiny in Exempt Organization Tax Return and Schedules

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

Conducted on Monday, November 20, 2017

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This webinar will provide advisers to nonprofit and exempt organizations with a practical guide to navigating some of the more challenging aspects of completing Form 990. The panel will discuss recent IRS changes to form instructions, detail areas of examination emphasis based on the Service’s 2017 Exempt Org Work Plan, and offer useful guidance in tackling some of the more complicated schedules of Form 990.


Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, vexes even seasoned tax compliance professionals. Nonprofit and exempt org tax advisers face regular changes and revisions to Form 990, its schedules, and its instructions, along with a heightened level of IRS and, even, general public scrutiny for noncompliance among exempt organization filers.

The IRS implemented an initiative using data analytics to identify key areas for examination. The most recent IRS report indicates a near 90% change rate in Form 990 examinations, suggesting the Service is more efficient in identifying red flags for exempt organization tax returns. Tax advisers must stay up to date on the filing requirements and risk areas in filing the informational return.

The Service published its 2017 FY Work Plan for Exempt Orgs, stating it will pay particular attention to reporting that calls into question an organization’s exemption, including non-exempt purpose activities, self-dealing, transactions with interested persons, employment tax, UBIT exposure, and activities outside the U.S. Advisers to nonprofits must adeptly navigate Form 990 Schedules to avoid costly errors.

Listen as our experienced panel provides a practical guide to some of the more difficult compliance challenges on Form 990.



  1. Structure of Form 990 Schedules
    1. Schedule F on foreign activities
    2. Part X balance sheet on reporting investments
    3. Part VIII on statement of revenue
    4. Reporting compensation
    5. UBTI
  2. 2017 Changes to Form 990 Instructions
    1. Conservation easements
    2. Part VIII on statement of revenue
    3. Reporting compensation
    4. Other aspects
  3. IRS Exempt Org 2017 Work Plan Areas of Focus
    1. Reporting non-exempt purpose activity and private inurement
    2. Preserving exempt org assets: self-dealing, excess benefit transactions and loans to disqualified persons
    3. “Tax gap” issues: UBTI and employment tax
    4. International activities reporting
    5. Emerging issues: non-exempt charitable trusts and IRC 501(r)
  4. UBTI/UBIT issues
  5. Identifying problem transactions
  6. Impact of new FASB nonprofit financial reporting standards on Form 990 compliance


The panel will tackle these and other key topics:

  • Adjusting to changes in reporting compared with former and revised Form 990 and final regulations
  • Lessons from Form 990 compliance in prior years
  • Best practices for Form 990 clients


Pekula, Christopher M.
Christopher M. Pekula, CPA
Manager, Tax Strategies
Kreischer Miller

Mr.  Pekula leads the firm’s tax exempt organization tax practice. He has expertise in planning, organizing,...  |  Read More

Ruvelson, Richard
Richard Ruvelson

Mr. Ruvelson has more than 30 years of experience in providing tax services to non-profit clients, including labor...  |  Read More

Breslin, Katherine
Katherine Breslin

Laura Solomon, Esq. & Associates

Ms. Breslin advises the firm’s clients on all aspects of their formation and tax exempt activities. Her practice...  |  Read More

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