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Understanding Form 990 - Chicago CPASchedule B of Form 990 reports information about the not-for-profit organization (NPO)’s contributors. This article will discuss the following:

  • When a NPO is required to file Schedule B
  • What contributors are reported on Schedule B
  • What information about contributors is reported on Schedule B
  • When Schedule B is open to public inspection
  • How to report anonymous contributors on Schedule B

When is a NPO is Required to File Schedule B?

Generally, a NPO must attach Schedule B to its Form 990 if it receives contributions of the greater of $5,000 or more than 2% of revenues from any one contributor. There are special rules for certain 501(c)(3) NPOs that may raise the reporting threshold above $5,000. There are also special rules for 501(c)(7), 501(c)(8), and 501(c)(10) organizations that may require reporting contributions lower than the $5,000 threshold.

What Donors are Reported on Schedule B?

Generally, each contributor that gave the organization money, securities, or any other type of property that total $5,000 or more within the NPO’s tax year is required to be reported on Schedule B. Again, the $5,000 threshold may be increased or decreased depending on the special rules as mentioned in the paragraph above. Fees received for performance of services are not reported on Schedule B. Also, it should be noted that the basis of accounting for Schedule B is the same basis of accounting used to complete Form 990. If a NPO uses the accrual basis of accounting to prepare its Form 990, then Schedule B must be prepared on an accrual basis, and not a cash basis. If the accrual basis of accounting is used, then certain promises to give should be reported in the tax year that the promise is made, and not each year the cash is received from the promise.

The instructions to Schedule B states that contributors include:

  • Individuals
  • Fiduciaries
  • Partnerships
  • Corporations
  • Associations
  • Trusts
  • Exempt Organizations
  • Most publicly supported organizations also need to report governmental units as contributors

What Information about Contributors is Reported on Schedule B?

The following information must be provided for each contributor required to be listed on Schedule B:

  • Name
  • Address
  • ZIP Code
  • Total amount of contributions for the current tax year
  • Type of contribution (cash contribution other than through a payroll deduction, cash contribution through a payroll deduction, and/or noncash contribution)
  • For noncash contributions, the following additional information must be provided: (1) Description of the noncash property given and (2) Fair market value of the property contributed, or if the fair market value is not readily determinable, the appraised value, or an estimated value of the property.
  • For certain gifts to 501(c)(7), 501(c)(8), and 501(c)(10) organizations, additional disclosures are required regarding the gift’s purpose, use, how the gift is held, who the transferee of the gift is, and what the relationship between the transferee and transferor is.

When is Schedule B is Open to Public Inspection?

Schedule B is open to public inspection for organizations that file 990-PF (private foundations) and section 527 political organizations that file Form 990 or 990-EZ. For all other organizations that file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ, the names and addresses of contributors are not required to be made available for public inspection. All other information on Schedule B, including the amount of contributions, description of noncash contributions, etc. is required to be made available for public inspection unless it clearly identifies the contributor.

If a NPO files a copy of its Form 990 or Form 990-EZ with a state, the NPO should not include Schedule B unless specifically required by the state. The state may inadvertently make the schedule available for public inspection.

When Can a Contributor be Reported as Anonymous on Schedule B?

A contributor should only be reported as anonymous if the NPO does not know the identity of the contributor. The NPO should report the name of the contributor on Schedule B if the NPO knows the name of the contributor whether or not the contributor wishes to remain anonymous.

Gabe Sumner

Gabe supervises a number of significant engagements for clients in the non-profit sector, including handling audits for educational institutions, social service agencies, trade associations, foundations, charities and social clubs around the Chicagoland area. Clients find his constant availability and commitment to service an added benefit to their Selden Fox relationship.