Progress on Form 990, Arts Education, and Pernambuco (9/27/2007)
League Comments on Future Form 990
As the IRS contemplates major changes to the way nonprofit organizations report activity on the Form 990, the League and the broader nonprofit sector have weighed in. While the IRS hopes the new Form will enhance transparency, promote tax compliance, and minimize the burden on filing organizations, certain proposed revisions have raised concerns. In comments to the IRS on behalf of orchestras, the League asks the IRS to:
- Remove out-of-context summary financial information from the new Form
- Address the potential unintended consequences of reporting information about music libraries and archives
- Ease the filing burden for smaller organizations
- Allow ample time for nonprofits to understand the new Form and adjust their record-keeping before implementation
In addition to these orchestra-specific comments, the League participated in discussions regarding the comprehensive comments filed by Independent Sector on behalf of the broader nonprofit and philanthropic community. While the IRS proposes implementing a new form for fiscal year 2008 activity, nonprofits are strongly urging the Service to delay implementing the new Form until fiscal year 2009.
Read League Comments
New Proposals to Strengthen Arts Education
While the most important advocacy for arts education in our schools often happens at the local and state levels, improving the federal education laws can open the door to improved policies nationwide. As Congress begins to re-consider the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and writes the newest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the arts community is calling for specific improvements to the law that determines how the federal government supports education. The League, in partnership with more than 20 national arts and education organizations, is calling on Congress to improve access to arts education for all students by enacting specific legislative recommendations. The process of re-considering NCLB will be a multi-year effort. Stay tuned for targeted opportunities to weigh in with your members of Congress.
Letter Confirms Pernambuco Decision
Please take note of a new document to have on hand while traveling internationally. A letter from the U.S. Department of the Interior officially confirms that finished bows made of pernambuco wood can be transported across international borders without burdensome certification requirements. This June, the international community considered an endangered species proposal that could have required musicians to obtain special permits before traveling internationally with instruments made with the Brazilian wood pernambuco - commonly used in crafting fine bows and other instrument parts. The League partnered with U.S. bow makers, NAMM: The International Music Products Association, and the American Federation of Musicians to successfully protect the ability of orchestras to travel internationally with their instruments. The letter can be helpful for musicians to carry while traveling with bows as they pass through customs.
October is National Arts & Humanities Month
Throughout the month of October, communities across the country will celebrate the arts and humanities through special events, public campaigns, and coordinated advocacy efforts. Seeking a mayoral proclamation in recognition of arts and humanities month can boost public awareness for your orchestra and begin a fruitful dialogue with your mayor. Find more ideas about participating in National Arts and Humanities Month on the Americans for the Arts web page.
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.