The Internal Revenue Service has been working for a couple of years on revisions to Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt From Tax), which has not had a major update in 30 years. With the recent release of revised draft instructions, the IRS is close to finalizing the process. The new Form 990 will generally be required for 2008 returns.Although issued as draft instructions, the IRS has indicated that the Form 990 instructions should be thought of as final instructions. They were hurried out to try to get the information in the hands of tax professionals and tax-exempt organizations as soon as possible to prepare for the new requirements. The final instructions are only expected to differ from these draft instructions if there has been a significant error or omission.

Due to the large number of changes to the new form and reporting requirements hereunder, tax professionals should make sure that their tax-exempt clients are aware of the new requirements and are updating their systems to capture the information necessary to complete the 2008 returns.

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