Four Important Tax Tips for Nonprofits

As the close of the calendar year approaches, it may seem to be too early to start thinking about tax season. On the other hand, now may be the best time for nonprofit leaders to begin gathering the advice – and the documents – that they’ll need to maintain their organization’s tax-exempt status for 2020. These four important tips will help to get you on the right track:

Know Your Forms
Even though tax-exempt organizations don’t file taxes, most (except religious and political nonprofits) are required to annually file what’s known as a 990. However, there are four different IRS Form 990s. Which form your organization completes depends on its size in terms of its assets, gross receipts and funding sources.

  • Form 990-N (now only filed electronically) is for nonprofits that take in less than $50,000 from public sources over the course of the year. The form’s eight questions make it quick and easy to file.
  • Your nonprofit will file Form 990EZ only if it had less than $200,000 in gross receipts from public sources or it has a total of less than $500,000 in assets.
  • If your nonprofit is a non-public tax-exempt organization, such as a private foundation that uses the resources of an endowment or other privately-funded sources, then 990-PF is the required IRS filing.
  • Finally, IRS Form 990 is the form for large, established nonprofits that had $200,000 or more in gross receipts throughout the year, or if its assets total $500,000 or more.

Maintain Good Records
Having accurate records of your nonprofit’s finances are, of course, important to have throughout the year, as well as at tax time. But they aren’t the only records necessary for filing your 990. It’s also important to maintain detailed records of the organization’s structure, its board members, salaries paid, and its departmental and programming budgets. Depending on the organization’s make-up, you may be required to file additional schedules with your 990. In addition to having this information accessible at tax time, prospective donors will appreciate your nonprofit’s transparency if it’s also available when they’re researching organizations worthy of their contributions.

Do a Double-Take
Because your annual 990 tax filing is essentially an application to retain your organization’s tax-exempt status, submitting an incomplete or incorrectly completed form may result in penalties, rejection or denial of its nonprofit standing. That’s why having someone check your work – and especially, to verify the accuracy of your records – is so vitally important.

Trust a Professional
Although software, websites and well-meaning individuals may be available to walk you through the process of completing your nonprofit’s Form 990, consider hiring a tax professional to do the job. Working with a tax professional not only saves time, but it also may save you the headache of re-filing in the new year. Donohoo Accounting Service is prepared to answer your questions before, during and after the tax-filing season. Talk with one of our accountants or schedule an appointment today by calling
513-528-3982 or contacting us via our website. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates!

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4 Cincinnati Non-Profits For End-Of-Year Giving

When it comes to end-of-year giving, it’s a time to be generous within your means, and also a way to reduce your tax burden. But where to donate? There are plenty of great non-profits in Greater Cincinnati, and here are a few of our favorites.

Dress For Success

The Cincinnati Chapter of Dress for Success helps empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. They provide services and resources to nearly 1,800 women each year. In addition to providing professional attire to secure employment at no cost, they also offer resume coaching and mock interviews.

Pets In Need

Pets in Need of Greater Cincinnati, located in Lockland, provides low-cost veterinary care including vaccines, treatment and medicine to help those going through hard times keep and care for their pets. The group serves more than 1,700 pet families in our area whose household income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. There are no geographic restrictions and pet owners come from the entire Tri-state area, encompassing 15 counties and 127 zip codes.

Freestore Foodbank

The Freestore Foodbank is one of Ohio’s largest food banks, distributing 33 million meals annually through a network of 511 community partner agencies serving 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. This includes food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, community centers, program sites, senior centers and daycare facilities. It also operates the Kids Café, which provides hot meals each week to 20 after-school sites in Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky. The meals served at Kids Café are prepared by adult students from Freestore Foodbank’s Cincinnati COOKS! culinary job training program.

Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corp.

Did you know the largest collection of Pre-Prohibition breweries in the country is in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine? In addition to the blocks of historic buildings that comprise Over-the-Rhine, the Brewery District also contains Findlay Market, the state’s oldest farmers market. The CURC works to repopulate this historic neighborhood with visitors, residents and businesses. It also encourages tourism by supporting festivals like Bockfest, and permanent attractions like the Brewing Heritage Trail.

If you want to help non-profit organizations while also possibly reducing your taxable income, make your donations by December 31. Contributions are deductible in the year made. Donations charged to a credit card before the end of the year will count in that year – even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until later. For donations to count on your tax forms, you’ll want to make sure the organization has a 501c3 status, which is IRS speak for tax-exempt.

The experts at Donohoo Accounting Services are here to support your success so you can keep helping others. For the past 20 years, our accountants have helped our clients meet and exceed their personal and business financial goals. Call us today for a free consultation at 513-528-3982. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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What To Bring To Your Accountant When You File Taxes

Although it’s technically possible to file your own tax return by using software, this can leave you exposed to a wide range of issues. If you want to ensure that everything with your tax return is handled by an experienced professional, working with a reputable accountant is an investment that should always pay off by unlocking extra savings and helping you avoid mistakes.

If you’re planning on enlisting an accountant’s help this year and are wondering what to expect during your appointment, here are some helpful tips on what to bring to your accountant when you file taxes:

Social Security Cards

The accountant you work with will want to verify your identity prior to submitting your filing. And if you are claiming any dependents, it’s a good idea to bring their card along as well. Although social security numbers seem like an easy enough thing to manage, SSN mistakes result in 100,000s of tax returns being sent back by the IRS every year. Since that’s guaranteed to increase how long it takes to get your refund, bring along your cards so your accountant will be able to double check the accuracy of these numbers.

Last Year’s Tax Return

Even if your financial situation has changed quite a bit over the last year, it’s still helpful for an accountant to have your previous year’s return as a reference point. This will allow the professional you work with to identify which deductions and credits you previously claimed, then quickly see if you’re eligible for them again.

W-2 and Any Other Income Forms

If you work as a traditional employee at a company, your employer should have already provided you with a W-2 form this year. This document has a lot of important information your accountant will need, so be sure to bring it along. For freelancers, the most common form to receive is a 1099-Misc. And if you have any investments or other activities that produced income, you’ll want to bring all of those forms along for the accountant to review.

Expense Documentation

Did you make some charitable donations over the course of last year? Maybe you do some selling online and drove around a lot to source inventory. Regardless of the specific donation or expense, an accountant is going to want to see documentation before claiming it for you. While it may take some time for you to get organized prior to your appointment, it will be well worth the effort.

If you’re ready to file your tax return and want to work with a great Cincinnati accountant, Donohoo Accounting Services is here to help. Call us today at (513) 528-3982 to schedule an appointment.

Preparing for a Big Accounting Job Interview

Whether you’re searching for your first accounting job out of school or are in the process of looking for the next step in your accounting career, doing well during job interviews are a key part of reaching your goal. Although it’s completely normal to be a little nervous about a big job interview, the good news is there are clear steps you can take to prepare.

As far as what to expect during an accounting job interview, behavioral interviews are commonly used throughout the industry. The focus of this type of interview technique is to learn about your past behavior and use that as a way to evaluate what can be expected from you in the future. During this type of interview, you can expect questions that focus on your core competencies. Another important thing to keep in mind about behavioral interviews is they pose questions in the form of a situation, action, and result.

Now that you know a little bit more about what to expect during an accounting job interview, we want to share some actual examples that may come up:

Deadlines and Details

Given that deadlines and details both play important roles in the professional lives of accountants, expect questions about these topics. With the former, you may be asked to provide an example of a time when you had various tasks to complete in order to meet accounting deadlines. And for details, you may be asked about what steps you take to ensure that your work is completed with full attention to detail.

Communication and Teamwork

When people outside the industry think of accounting, they often picture individuals who are poring over spreadsheets on their own. While accounting does involve plenty of independent work, communication is still essential within a company or firm of any size. The same is true for teamwork. That’s why behavioral interviews for accounting jobs tend to include questions about these topics. You may be asked to describe experiences where you effectively communicated within your department, with someone in a different department or with a client.

Solving Problems and Setting Goals

If you’re looking for your first accounting job, you can expect to encounter plenty of situations that require problem-solving once you land it. And if you’re already in the accounting field, you’re well aware of why problem-solving is such an important skill. The same is true for setting goals and being able to contribute to hitting goals set by the organization. As you prepare for your accounting job interview, think of examples of situations that required problem-solving, along with other occasions when you worked towards a personal or organizational goal.

By giving yourself time to prepare and keeping the topics we covered above in mind, you’ll be in the best position to do great during your accounting job interview!