Form 990

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.

Comparing 2011 Form 990 to 2010

The IRS 2011 Annual Report & 2012 Work Plan reports:

FY2011 marked the end of the three-year phase-in of the redesigned Form 990. [T]his means the lead-up time is over, and the redesign has begun to pay off by providing us with more information about exempt organizations. This allows us to use data analytics and build risk models that will guide our work and greatly improve our ability to support high standards of transparency and stewardship among exempt organizations.

Consistent with this statement, Form 990 for reporting 2011 activities has few changes in its compensation reporting requirements compared to 2010. Here is a comparison of the 2010 and 2011 forms.

Defined Benefit Retirement Plan

2010 Form 2011 Form
Report increases in actuarial value Report net of increases and decreases in actuarial value

W–2 Compensation

2010 Form 2011 Form
Use box 5 (Medicare wages) unless zero, in which case use box 1 (gross wages) Use the greater of box 1 or box 5

Short Deferrals

2010 Form 2011 Form
Report as deferred compensation any amount earned in a year that is not paid by the end of the year Do not report as deferred compensation any amount paid within 2½ months after end of the year

Benefit Reporting Table

2010 Form 2011 Form
Gives instructions for reporting 70 different benefits Adds instructions for reporting gift cards (as taxable compensation) and “disregarded benefits” (e.g., working condition fringe benefits) (not reported)

Governance:

Has the organization provided a copy of this Form 990 to all members of its governing body before filing the form?

2010 Form 2011 Form
Answer “yes” if the organization emailed the board a link to a password protected web site to review the form Adds:  Answer “no” if all the organization did was tell the board that the form is available upon request.