The Internal Revenue Service has released draft instructions for the redesigned Form 990, the return that tax-exempt organizations such as nonprofit charities, hospitals and universities must file annually.

The instructions apply to the revised form that organizations will need to file in 2009 for their 2008 tax years, and require more disclosure about matters such as executive compensation and program service accomplishments. The final version of the redesigned Form 990 was unveiled in December 2007.

"Tax-exempt organizations provide tremendous benefits to the people and communities they serve, but their ability to do good work hinges upon the public's trust," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman (pictured) in a statement. "The new Form 990 will foster this trust by greatly improving transparency and compliance in the tax-exempt sector."

The IRS is seeking public comment on the draft instructions. The public comment period will run until June 1, 2008.

The IRS also released a list of special "highlights" with the draft instructions and will post comments on its Web site as it did with comments about the draft redesigned Form 990 last year.

The draft Form 990 instructions are on the tax-exempt organizations part of the IRS Web site. Comments on the instructions should be e-mailed to the IRS at Form990Revision@irs.gov.

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