urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Free E-Filing Service for Nonprofits Is Launched by National Center for Charitable Statistics

Document date: February 01, 2005
Released online: February 01, 2005

Contact: Latricia Good, (202) 261-5709, lgood@ui.urban.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 1, 2005 — Tax-exempt organizations can file their information returns for tax year 2004 electronically via a new free web service launched today by the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS).

Last year, more than 450,000 organizations sent the Internal Revenue Service paper copies of Form 990, the annual information return for tax-exempt entities. With 990 Online -- available at http://efile.form990.org/ -- these organizations can file returns with the same ease and accuracy enjoyed by individual taxpayers who e-file.

Earlier this month, the IRS released regulations requiring certain tax-exempt organizations to e-file their information returns. Although the rule does not go into effect until 2006, many nonprofits can get a head start this year by e-filing through NCCS's 990 Online.

"990 Online makes it easy for both large and small organizations to complete their Form 990s or 990-EZs," says Linda Lampkin, NCCS program director. "It calculates totals, includes nearly 50 standard attachments, provides line-by-line links to IRS instructions and to tips from a CPA specializing in nonprofits, and verifies the accuracy and consistency of the return. It also creates PDF files for printing or distributing."

NCCS, a program of the Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, is the national clearinghouse of research data on the nonprofit sector in the United States.

The benefits of e-filing, says Lampkin, include heightened efficiency and accuracy, a streamlined reporting process, and the eventual availability of nonprofit reporting forms at one easily accessible location.

E-filing will increase nonprofit accountability by enabling donors, watchdog groups, policymakers, and others to better assess how well nonprofits are operating, says Lampkin. Also, such organizations as GuideStar, state charity offices, NCCS, and the IRS will be able to stop keypunching information and focus their resources on using the data, especially the improved organizational finance and performance information.

The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic, and governance challenges facing the nation.

Topics/Tags: | Nonprofits

    Usage and reprints: Most publications may be downloaded free of charge from the web site and may be used and copies made for research, academic, policy or other non-commercial purposes. Proper attribution is required. Posting UI research papers on other websites is permitted subject to prior approval from the Urban Institute—contact publicaffairs@urban.org.

    If you are unable to access or print the PDF document please contact us or call the Publications Office at (202) 261-5687.

    Disclaimer: The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. Copyright of the written materials contained within the Urban Institute website is owned or controlled by the Urban Institute.

    Email this Page