With the closing of the calendar year, the focus of many private foundations shifts toward the planning and preparation of Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation. In recent years, the Form 990-PF has grown from merely a mandatory annual filing to one of the most commonly used and highly scrutinized data sources from which is gained valuable information about an organization. Further, the growth of electronic access to this document, through such sites as GuideStar, has highlighted the importance of a properly completed Form 990-PF. It is more than a tax return — it’s a view into the fabric and operations of the foundation.
We compiled the following list of some common errors, omissions and shortcomings that we have encountered through our Firm’s active involvement in the preparation and review of Forms 990-PF for our clients. This list can serve as guidance for your foundation in both preparing and reviewing your return.