Form 990, Visa, & Advocacy Updates (8/10/2007)
IRS Drafts New Form 990
The IRS is planning a major overhaul of the Form 990, with an aim toward enhancing transparency, promoting tax compliance, and minimizing the burden on filing organizations. While some changes to the Form reflect requests from the nonprofit community, several revisions raise questions and concerns. The proposed revisions to the Form would change the way orchestras and other tax-exempt organizations annually report executive compensation, governance practices, finances, and other areas of activity. The IRS is also reconsidering the thresholds for requiring organizations to file. Under the current rules, organizations with revenue of $100,000 or more must file the full Form 990, organizations with $25,000 or more in revenue must file the Form 990-EZ, and while organizations with less than $25,000 in revenue are not currently required to annually report to the IRS, as of 2008 these organizations must file the Form 990-N e-postcard, or risk losing their tax-exempt status. The IRS is considering increasing the threshold for those that may file the Form 990-N, which would likely relieve smaller organizations of the burden of filing the more complicated Form 990-EZ.
The timing for implementing a revised Form 990 is uncertain. While the IRS plans for the new Form to be used for returns filed in 2009, the nonprofit community is requesting more lead time to make the transition to the new reporting requirements. The League is collaborating with the broader nonprofit community and Independent Sector as the IRS invites comments regarding the new Form.
Read more here
U.S Mayors Name Policy Priorities
At the summer meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, local policy leaders adopted a series of resolutions that declare their priorities and positions on issues ranging from climate protection to homeland security. The slate of resolutions approved by the Mayors includes a number of policies in alignment with the interests of the arts sector. Mayors collectively call for improving the U.S. visa process, increasing funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, and making arts education available to all students. Understanding the local priorities of civic leaders can open the door to new opportunities for support for orchestras. Read the article "Are You Listening?" in the June/July issue of SYMPHONY Magazine to learn more about becoming civically engaged.
Reminder: Visa Fees Increased!
Effective July 30, the filing fees for visas petitions for foreign guest artists have increased. To avoid delays in processing, please note the fee changes and plan accordingly! Complete information about the new fee structure is available on the Artists from Abroad web site. The League continues to work in partnership with the national nonprofit performing arts community to improve the visa process for foreign guest artists. Please contact the League with any visa-related questions and keep us informed of your experiences in navigating the visa process.
See Artists from Abroad for more details
The League is a member of the American Arts Alliance, a coalition of national performing arts service organizations dedicated to advocating for national policies that recognize, enhance, and foster the contributions the performing arts make to America.