Schedule C (Form 990)


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What is Form 990 Schedule C

Form 990 Schedule C is designed for organizations that engage in political campaign activities or lobbying actions. The IRS requires detailed reporting to ensure the activities align with the organization's tax-exempt status. Filling out Schedule C 990 properly is crucial for maintaining that status and avoiding potential penalties.

Who needs to file Schedule C Form 990

If your organization engages in lobbying activities, political campaigns, or has incurred expenses related to these functions, you're likely required to fill out and submit Schedule C with your Form 990. The Schedule C Form 990 instructions contain a detailed guide on the types of activities that need to be reported, so it’s crucial to read those instructions carefully.

Form 990 Schedule C Instructions

Here are some general steps you can follow to complete Form 990 Schedule C:

  1. Before starting, you should completely understand your organization’s lobbying and political campaign activities for the tax year.
  2. The IRS provides comprehensive instructions for Form 990 Schedule C. It’s highly advisable to read through these carefully before you start filling out the form.
  3. Collect all financial information related to lobbying and political campaigns, such as invoices, expense reports, and accounting records.
  4. Based on your activities, complete the necessary sections of the form, providing detailed answers where required.
  5. Once you've filled out the form, go back and verify all information. A small error can lead to a major complication during the auditing process.
  6. Attach Schedule C 990 with your main Form 990 before submitting it to the IRS.
  7. Keep copies of all submitted forms and supporting documents. The IRS can ask for additional information, and it’s good to be prepared.

Real-Life Example of Filling Out IRS Form 990 Schedule C

Organization Details

  1. Name of Organization: Save the Forests Foundation
  2. Employer Identification Number (EIN): 12-3456789

Part I-A: Political Campaign Activities

  1. The organization sent newsletters advocating for specific environmental policies and endorsed candidates supporting forest conservation.
  2. Political campaign activity expenditures: $5,000
  3. Volunteer hours for political campaign activities: 200 hours

Part II-A: Lobbying Expenditures

  1. Total lobbying expenditures to influence public opinion: $2,000
  2. Total lobbying expenditures to influence a legislative body: $3,000
  3. Total lobbying expenditures (add lines 1a and 1b): $5,000
  4. Other exempt purpose expenditures: $20,000
  5. Total exempt purpose expenditures (add lines 1c and 1d): $25,000

Part IV: Supplemental Information

Additional details about lobbying, political campaign activities, and other relevant information.

Cross-Check and Verify

After completing the form, you double-check all the numbers and details to ensure everything is accurate.

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