IRS Extends College & University Compliance Questionnaire Deadline to February 6
November 20, 2008
Speaking at the NACUBO Tax Forum, IRS Exempt Organizations director Lois Lerner talked about the questionnaire which was sent to 400 institutions in early October, with a 90 day submission deadline. Lerner noted the recently published FAQs for questionnaire recipients, as well as the one-month extension of time.
Addressing the group of more than 225 campus tax professionals--many of whom were from schools that received the IRS questionnaire--Ms. Lerner stated that the objective of the IRS’ College and University Compliance Project was to enhance transparency. By gathering information about a cross-section of the higher education sector, the Service seeks to get a clearer picture of compliance levels, in order to identify what areas might be improved by better education and outreach from IRS
Ms. Lerner added that focused, rather than comprehensive, audits will also be a part of the compliance project. Unrelated business income tax and executive compensation will be the issues that upcoming college and university audits will target. Ms. Lerner would not report on the number of these audits that will take place.
New Form 990. Lerner noted that the Service is interested in hearing feedback as the regulated community experiences the initial reporting under the redesigned and expanded Form 990. She reported that the IRS plans to convene focus groups across the exempt sector to examine issues and encouraged those interested in participating in a focus group to contact Mary Bachinger, director, tax policy at NACUBO.
Ms. Lerner also discussed how the IRS approaches issues amidst press coverage and congressional pressure, the Service's ongoing interest in how nonprofit organizations are governed and the link between good governance and tax compliance.
Coming soon: podcast of Ms. Lerner’s November 16 remarks at the NACUBO Tax Forum--check NACUBO's Distance Learning Page.
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