Other Routes to Transparency

BY JAMES A. JOHNSON

I would like to submit my name as being less than enamored with the new Form 990 that the IRS has visited upon hapless not-for-profits. I noticed that your article “The Redesigned Form 990” (March 09, page 72) featured the use of the buzzword “transparency.” It seems that any reporting changes imposed on the public are always labeled in the interest of transparency. The unethical conduct of a few always visits punishment upon the masses.

 

I fully recognize the abuses that take place in the not-for-profit field, but most of the information called for in the new Form 990 is also presented in the Labor-Management annual Form LM-2 having to do with purpose, payments to principal officials, etc. In my opinion the questions about the number of forms W-2 and 1099 filed borders on the ridiculous. There are three questions regarding program accomplishments and organizational purpose. The Form LM-2 could be shared and avoid the time and painful effort required to fill out the 990.

 

When I contacted our Alabama congressional representative to complain about what I consider overkill in the reporting requirements imposed by the new Form 990, his response was, “We have no control over the Internal Revenue Service.”

 

James A. Johnson, CPA

Florence, Ala.

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