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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

NACUBO and AGB Launch Study on IRS College & University Questionnaire

October 9, 2008

According to an October 2 press release, the IRS mailed a compliance questionnaire to approximately 400 public and private four-year institutions around the country. The 33-page questionnaire asks institutions to furnish a wide range of data related to endowment management and performance, executive compensation and benefits, and UBIT (classification of activities, expense allocations, and calculation and reporting of income and losses on the Form 990-T). Institutions will have until Feburary 6, 2009 to complete the survey.

All colleges and universities should closely review the IRS questionnaire. It will provide you with detailed insight regarding the Service’s thoughts on  compliance and perhaps future reporting requirements. IRS has posted the October 2nd press release, sample cover letter to schools, instructions, and survey instrument on its Web site.  

AGB and NACUBO Team Up

NACUBO and the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) are working together to conduct an independent study of the completed surveys, providing analysis and findings to colleges and universities before the IRS publishes its report in 2009.  Presidents or chancellors should have received an October 3 joint letter from AGB and NACUBO describing the project and inviting participation from schools that receive the IRS survey.

The AGB/NACUBO independent analysis of the responses submitted  to the IRS  will promote clarity and understanding about the results for colleges and universities, for the general public, and for policymakers. Another important component of the project is to provide survey results to the higher ed community before the IRS releases its report and findings. This advance notice will give institutions time to process the information and shape messages about the results for their various constituencies. 
We invite institutions that receive an IRS questionnaire to confidentially share their completed surveys with us. AGB and NACUBO have engaged the firm of Ernst & Young to collect and analyze the data on a confidential basis. Only aggregate data will appear in the study; individual institutional data will not be published. Institutions that would like to participate in the AGB/NACUBO study should send an e-mail to and refer to the details for participants. 
Upcoming Webcast

On October 28, NACUBO will offer a members-only webcast for institutions that have received IRS questionnaires, providing background information about the IRS project, along with some discussion and recommendations for approaching the questionnaire. Webcast registration information will be sent to institutions  identifying themselves to us as having received the IRS questionnaire. Please send an e-mail to indicating your interest in receiving information about the upcoming webcast.  Please include full contact information for individuals wishing to receive the information (name, title, institution, and e-mail address). 

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Bachinger, director, tax policy, at 202.861.2581 or