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Not-for-Profit Alert: Attention Self-Declared Exempt Organizations: IRS Requests Questionnaire Completion



The IRS is conducting voluntary compliance checks of more than 1,300 organizations that have “self-declared” that they are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(4), (5), or (6). These organizations have not applied to the IRS for recognition of exemption and have filed Form 990 for the 2010 and/or 2011 tax year(s). The IRS is requesting that the organizations complete an online questionnaire designed to help the IRS determine whether the organizations are in compliance with applicable tax law requirements.

Suggested Action:

After reviewing this alert, please contact your CohnReznick professional for assistance with responding to the questionnaire and/or addressing any potential compliance issues.


A compliance check is a review conducted by the IRS to determine whether an organization is complying with tax exemption, recordkeeping, and information reporting requirements.  The organization has 60 days from the date of the cover letter to complete the online questionnaire, with an additional 30 days if needed. Information submitted online will be kept secure and private by the IRS. The questionnaire covers a wide range of topics and includes questions about the organization, its activities and related organizations, revenue and expenses, and executive compensation and benefits.  There is no penalty for refusing to participate in a compliance check, but the IRS has the option to open a formal examination whether or not the organization agrees to participate. 


Please visit CohnReznick’s Not-for-Profit webpage and contact Thomas Lanning, Partner, at 646-834-4108, or Phil Royalty, Director, at 916-930-5222.

Circular 230 Notice: In compliance with U.S. Treasury Regulations, the information included herein (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of i) avoiding penalties the IRS and others may impose on the taxpayer or ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any tax related matters.

This has been prepared for information purposes and general guidance only and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and CohnReznick LLP, its members, employees and agents accept no liability, and disclaim all responsibility, for the consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.

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