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Possible End to Required Disclosure of Contributors

The IRS is considering eliminating Schedule B of the Form 990, which asks for the names and addresses of an exempt organization’s contributors and for certain information about contributions received.  Tax Analysts reported that, at a program sponsored by the Urban Institute, Tammy Ripperda (Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS) questioned whether the IRS should ask for the names and addresses of contributors, given that this information is not made public, and whether there is a need for the information from a federal tax law enforcement standpoint.  Schedule B is currently open to public inspection for private foundations and Section 527 organizations, but Form 990 filers (including Section 501(c)(3) public charities, Section 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, and other tax-exempt entities) are not required to make the names and addresses of contributors available for public inspection. Schedule B has been the subject of periodic controversy and litigation, largely due to inadvertent disclosure by the IRS and state regulators.  Ripperda noted that the IRS is discussing the idea with state charity regulators, given their interest in the information on Schedule B.  We will keep you posted on this development.