Making the Most of Your 990: A Red Flag Guide for Nonprofits

Many nonprofits mistakenly think that their Form 990 return is less important than the audit. The board may give it a cursory look before signing off on it, but few look carefully at areas that might be seen as red flags to the IRS—never mind reporters and donors. As the IRS lets you know, your 990 is your most public-facing document, the one on which many will judge your organization. What are the most common red flags for reporters and regulators? What can you do to clarify your finances to donors in the place where they’re most likely to access your information?