The 501 S(c)ene

The latest view on not-for-profit accounting issues

Is my organization required to complete form 990 schedule B?

The Form 990 Schedule B, also known as Schedule of Contributors, is one of the more common schedules required for non-profits that receive contributions throughout the year. The name may give it all away, but it is a schedule that requires reporting of contributors who have donated amounts over certain threshold requirements depending on the rules applied. The general rule determines that an organization would be required to file schedule B if the organization has received any contributions from at least one contributor that amounted to more than $5,000 for their fiscal year. This may seem like a lot of reporting for organizations who receive a large amount of contributions.

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Thankfully, the IRS did not stop there and there are also special rules that can be applied if the organization meets the applicable requirement. 501(c)(3) organizations qualify for the “special rule” when they meet the 33 1/3% support test which is determined on Schedule A. If this special rule requirement is met the organization must report contributions from any contributor that amount to more than 2% of total contribution revenue for the fiscal year. Meaning that if the organization had $1,000,000 in contribution revenue, they would only have to report contributions over $20,000 instead of $5,000. Keep in mind this is total contributions received from any one contributor throughout the year. There are also special rules that can apply to 501(c)7, 8, or 10 organizations, which can lower the reporting threshold.

After determining the threshold of reporting you can then begin to fill out the rest of the form. For each contributor you will need the following information.

  • Name (Anonymous can be used only if the organization does not know the identity of the donor)
  • Full address
  • ZIP code
  • Total contributions for tax year (fiscal year)

For each contributor you will also need to check the box for the type of contribution. The three options include person (cash contribution from contributor not via payroll deduction), payroll (contribution via payroll deduction) and noncash. If the contribution is noncash you will also need to include a description of the property and the fair market value. If a fair market value is not readily determinable an appraised or estimated value can be used instead.

The last item to note is that Schedule B information that lists contributors’ names and addresses for public charities is not required to be available for public inspection. The exception relates to organizations that file form 990-PF (private foundations) and section 527 political organizations.

Please contact your Henry+Horne nonprofit adviser with any questions.

Tyler Croisdale

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