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Form 990 Redesign Background Documents

The IRS redesigned Form 990 for tax years beginning in 2008. The background documents explaining this redesign are described below.   Form 990 instructions are posted along with three new background documents explaining the new form and instructions. The 2008 Form 990, released by the IRS in December 2007, is effective for 2008 tax years (for returns filed in 2009). The new background documents are described below.

The first of these documents, Background Paper – Summary of Form 990 Redesign Process, provides a 5-page explanation of the redesign process. Topics include reasons for the redesign, the public comment process, key changes from the old to the new form, and some next steps organizations and their preparers should consider as they prepare to file Form 990. 

The second document, Background Paper – Form 990, Moving from the Old to the New, lists and summarizes the parts and schedules of the form, highlights which portions are new or significantly revised from the 2007 form, and compares material differences between the 2007 and the 2008 forms and instructions. This document contains a separate description of each part of the core form and each schedule, which explains the purpose, rationale and overview, key points, and effect on reporting relating to that part or schedule. The description of each schedule also includes an explanation of how an organization determines whether it must complete that schedule.

The third document, Background Paper – Changes to April Draft Instructions, provides an overview of significant changes to the April 2008 draft instructions and lists areas requiring further study for future years. The document also includes a detailed list of material changes to the April 2008 draft instructions, prepared in the order in which they appear in the instructions – first - the general instructions, and then the specific instructions for each part and schedule of the new form.

A Chronological History of materials relating to the 2008 Form 990 redesign process also is available.


Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 06-Mar-2014