IRS to release machine readable Form 990 data next year

Yesterday the IRS announced that it will publish data from Form 990 in a machine readable format beginning in early 2016. Currently, the Form 990 data is available as a low resolution image, which makes it difficult to research many organizations at once. The new format will be XML-based, enabling computers to quickly analyze the data.

This new resource will make peer comparison surveys much easier for healthcare organizations, credit unions, and their consultants. Only state-chartered credit unions submit Form 990, but both federal and state-chartered credit unions can use the data.

For example, the current data looks like this:

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 4.00.09 PM.png

That same data in the new format will look like this:

<IRS990ScheduleJ documentId="RetDoc1042400001">
    <FirstClassOrCharterTravel>X</FirstClassOrCharterTravel>
    <TravelForCompanions>X</TravelForCompanions>
    <WrittenPolicyReTAndEExpenses>1</WrittenPolicyReTAndEExpenses>
    <SubstantiationRequired>1</SubstantiationRequired>
    <CompensationCommittee>X</CompensationCommittee>
    <WrittenEmploymentContract>X</WrittenEmploymentContract>
    <CompensationSurvey>X</CompensationSurvey>
    <BoardOrCommitteeApproval>X</BoardOrCommitteeApproval>
    <SeverancePayment>0</SeverancePayment>
    <SupplementalNonqualRetirePlan>1</SupplementalNonqualRetirePlan>
    <EquityBasedCompArrangement>0</EquityBasedCompArrangement>
    <Form990ScheduleJPartII>
        <NamePerson>VINCENT SANDUSKY</NamePerson>
        <BaseCompensationFilingOrg>382438</BaseCompensationFilingOrg>
        <CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>0</CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>
        <BonusFilingOrg>0</BonusFilingOrg>
        <BonusRelatedOrgs>0</BonusRelatedOrgs>
        <OtherCompensationFilingOrg>0</OtherCompensationFilingOrg>
        <OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <DeferredCompFilingOrg>37600</DeferredCompFilingOrg>
        <DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>0</DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>
        <NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>24342</NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>
        <NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>0</NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>
        <TotalCompensationFilingOrg>444380</TotalCompensationFilingOrg>
        <TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>0</CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>
        <CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>0</CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>
    </Form990ScheduleJPartII>
    <Form990ScheduleJPartII>
        <NamePerson>JERROLD MARANS</NamePerson>
        <BaseCompensationFilingOrg>149353</BaseCompensationFilingOrg>
        <CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>0</CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>
        <BonusFilingOrg>0</BonusFilingOrg>
        <BonusRelatedOrgs>0</BonusRelatedOrgs>
        <OtherCompensationFilingOrg>0</OtherCompensationFilingOrg>
        <OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <DeferredCompFilingOrg>15848</DeferredCompFilingOrg>
        <DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>0</DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>
        <NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>17952</NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>
        <NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>0</NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>
        <TotalCompensationFilingOrg>183153</TotalCompensationFilingOrg>
        <TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>0</CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>
        <CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>0</CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>
    </Form990ScheduleJPartII>
    <Form990ScheduleJPartII>
        <NamePerson>TOM SOLES</NamePerson>
        <BaseCompensationFilingOrg>165945</BaseCompensationFilingOrg>
        <CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>0</CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>
        <BonusFilingOrg>0</BonusFilingOrg>
        <BonusRelatedOrgs>0</BonusRelatedOrgs>
        <OtherCompensationFilingOrg>0</OtherCompensationFilingOrg>
        <OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <DeferredCompFilingOrg>17329</DeferredCompFilingOrg>
        <DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>0</DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>
        <NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>24342</NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>
        <NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>0</NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>
        <TotalCompensationFilingOrg>207616</TotalCompensationFilingOrg>
        <TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>0</CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>
        <CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>0</CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>
    </Form990ScheduleJPartII>
    <Form990ScheduleJPartII>
        <NamePerson>DEBORAH WYANDT</NamePerson>
        <BaseCompensationFilingOrg>187821</BaseCompensationFilingOrg>
        <CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>0</CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>
        <BonusFilingOrg>0</BonusFilingOrg>
        <BonusRelatedOrgs>0</BonusRelatedOrgs>
        <OtherCompensationFilingOrg>0</OtherCompensationFilingOrg>
        <OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <DeferredCompFilingOrg>19019</DeferredCompFilingOrg>
        <DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>0</DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>
        <NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>10249</NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>
        <NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>0</NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>
        <TotalCompensationFilingOrg>217089</TotalCompensationFilingOrg>
        <TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>0</CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>
        <CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>0</CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>
    </Form990ScheduleJPartII>
    <Form990ScheduleJPartII>
        <NamePerson>ELI HOWARD</NamePerson>
        <BaseCompensationFilingOrg>154565</BaseCompensationFilingOrg>
        <CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>0</CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>
        <BonusFilingOrg>0</BonusFilingOrg>
        <BonusRelatedOrgs>0</BonusRelatedOrgs>
        <OtherCompensationFilingOrg>0</OtherCompensationFilingOrg>
        <OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <DeferredCompFilingOrg>15819</DeferredCompFilingOrg>
        <DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>0</DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>
        <NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>16641</NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>
        <NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>0</NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>
        <TotalCompensationFilingOrg>187025</TotalCompensationFilingOrg>
        <TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>0</CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>
        <CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>0</CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>
    </Form990ScheduleJPartII>
    <Form990ScheduleJPartII>
        <NamePerson>STAN KOLBE</NamePerson>
        <BaseCompensationFilingOrg>144829</BaseCompensationFilingOrg>
        <CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>0</CompBasedOnRelatedOrgs>
        <BonusFilingOrg>0</BonusFilingOrg>
        <BonusRelatedOrgs>0</BonusRelatedOrgs>
        <OtherCompensationFilingOrg>0</OtherCompensationFilingOrg>
        <OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</OtherCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <DeferredCompFilingOrg>15177</DeferredCompFilingOrg>
        <DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>0</DeferredCompRelatedOrgs>
        <NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>24324</NontaxableBenefitsFilingOrg>
        <NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>0</NontaxableBenefitsRelatedOrgs>
        <TotalCompensationFilingOrg>184330</TotalCompensationFilingOrg>
        <TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>0</TotalCompensationRelatedOrgs>
        <CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>0</CompReportPrior990FilingOrg>
        <CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>0</CompReportPrior990RelatedOrgs>
    </Form990ScheduleJPartII>
    <Form990ScheduleJPartIII>
        <ReturnReference>PART I, LINE 1A</ReturnReference>
        <Explanation>SMACNA PAYS FOR ITS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND THEIR SPOUSES TO FLY TO BOARD MEETING LOCATIONS.
</Explanation>
    </Form990ScheduleJPartIII>
</IRS990ScheduleJ>

It's not as human friendly, but computers can quickly analyze mountains of data formatted like this. If the IRS makes the bulk data reasonably accessible, lots of interesting analysis will be possible next year.

The IRS is adding this option largely because of constant pushing from public.resource.org.