The Internal Revenue Service has finalized the revised Form 990 and 990-EZ information returns that tax-exempt organizations will need to file next year.

The revised forms require charities to report more detailed information about the compensation they provide to their highest paid individuals, any insider transactions, the organizations' governance structure and related organizations.

The IRS has finalized not only the new information returns, but also the related schedules and instructions. The new 2008 Form 990 consists of an 11-page, 11-part core form that is required to be completed by all organizations that file the form, and schedules to be completed by those organizations that satisfy the applicable requirements.

A new section asks questions about the organization's governance structure, policies and practices. Other important changes include new definitions of officers and key employees. Organizations must also now report on the compensation paid to their top five highest compensated employees and top five independent contractors.

Other areas of significant change include the determination of public charity status and public support. Schedule D contains new reporting requirements for organizations maintaining donor-advised funds or other similar funds or accounts; conservation organizations; museums and other organizations maintaining collections; credit counseling organizations and others holding funds in escrow or custodial arrangements; and organizations maintaining endowments.

Schedule G requires reporting of more information regarding arrangements with professional fundraisers, special events, and gaming activities.

Other new schedules include those for reporting foreign activities (Schedule F); hospitals (Schedule H); tax-exempt bonds (Schedule K); transactions with interested persons (Schedule L); non-cash contributions (Schedule M); and related organizations (Schedule R).

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