Filing Years 2008 and 2009 Form 990 Errors

GuideStar has been informed that processing errors occurred on some Forms 990 filed electronically with the IRS for filing years 2008, 2009, and 2010. These errors resulted in inaccurate data appearing on the Form 990 PDFs that the IRS makes available to the public and that are posted on GuideStar.

Note: The IRS determines filing year by the start date of the fiscal year covered by Form 990. Any return covering a fiscal year that began in 2008 is considered a filing year 2008 return, even if the fiscal year covered by that 990 ended in 2009. Likewise, any 990 covering a fiscal year that began in 2009 is considered a filing year 2009 return, even if the fiscal year ended in 2010.

What to Do If Your Organization's Filing Year 2008 or 2009 Return Is Affected

If your filing year 2008 or 2009 Form 990 is one of the returns affected by the processing errors, you can upload an accurate version of that 990 following the steps below. The 990 will appear in the "Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit" section of your Nonprofit Report. Also, a filing year 2008 return is a 990 that covers a fiscal year that began in 2008, even if that fiscal year ended in 2009. A filing year 2009 return is a 990 that covers a fiscal year that begain in 2009.

Steps for Uploading a Correct 990

  • Sign in or create an account on www.guidestar.org.
  • Click on the yellow "Update Nonprofit Report" button at the top of the page.
  • Click on your organization's name. (If you do not currently have permission, click the Request Permission button and follow the instructions.)
  • Go to the "Review Changes" tab on the bottom left-hand side of the form that comes up, which is your organization's GuideStar Exchange Form.
  • Fill in the required fields in the form, which are indicated by red asterisks.
  • In the "Documents" section, upload the correct version of your Form 990.
  • Click the Save and Continue button at the bottom of each page after you have added or changed information in the form.
  • Once you have completed all required fields, be sure to click the Send to GuideStar button on the "Review Changes" page to ensure that your changes are posted to the site.

Answers to Your Questions about Filing Years 2008 and 2009 Form 990 Inaccuracies

  1. How can we provide a correct copy of our organization's Form 990 to replace the inaccurate one provided to GuideStar by the IRS?
  2. Can we get the notice about the inaccuracies on our organization's Form 990 taken down?
  3. How can I find out if my organization was affected by the processing errors?
  4. What effect will the inaccuracies in my organization's Form 990 have on my fundraising efforts?
  5. Are you showing correct Form 990 copies from organizations? How?
  6. I work with a number of tax-exempt organizations and want to notify them if they've been affected by the processing errors. How should I tell them to fix it?
  1. How can we provide a corrected copy of our organization's Form 990 to replace the inaccurate one provided to GuideStar by the IRS?

    Follow the instructions under "What to Do If Your Organization's Filing Year 2008 or 2009 Return Is Affected" above to upload a correct return through the GuideStar Exchange.

  2. Can we get the notice about the inaccuracies on our organization's Form 990 taken down?

    Not at this time. To ensure total transparency, we are keeping all notices up until the issue has been resolved with the IRS.

  3. How can I find out if my organization was affected by the processing errors?

    A notice has been posted on all returns that may be affected. Just look up your nonprofit on our site and go to the "Forms 990 and Docs" section of your nonprofit report. The 990s are listed by fiscal year; click the link for the fiscal year that began in 2008 to review your form year 2008 return. I.e., if your fiscal year began and ended in 2008, click the 2008 link. If your fiscal year began in 2008 but ended in 2009, click the 2009 link to check your return.

    As noted above, the IRS uses the date a fiscal year began to determine the form year. Standard accounting conventions—and the IRS—use the date a fiscal year ended to determine the fiscal year and for listing documents such as the 990.

  4. What effect will the inaccuracies in my organization's Form 990 have on my fundraising efforts?

    By being transparent about this problem and clearly identifying the affected returns, we hope to mitigate any negative impact. If you are concerned, however, we recommend that you reach out to your funders about this situation and ensure that they have the correct information. You are welcome to point funders to this page for more information.

  5. Are you showing correct Form 990 copies from organizations? How?

    Yes, a nonprofit can provide an accurate return by following the steps in the "What to Do If Your Organization's Filing Year 2008 or 2009 Return Is Affected" section above. Please note, the 990 will appear under the section "Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit" and not under "Forms 990 Received from the IRS."

  6. I work with a number of tax-exempt organizations and want to notify them if they've been affected by the processing errors. How should I tell them to fix it?

    Direct them to this page and the "What to Do If Your Organization's Filing Year 2008 or 2009 Return Is Affected" section above.