Industry Insights

IRS Error Leads to Form 990 Inaccuracies on Guidestar

February 2011
Author:  Brian Todd

Brian Todd


Health Care

910 E. St. Louis Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 1190
Springfield, MO 65806-2523


If you have recently visited Guidestar’s website to access your IRS Form 990, you may have encountered a notice that serves as the first page of the scanned image of the form. According to the notice, Guidestar was informed of an IRS processing error for 2008 Forms 990 electronically filed between January 1, 2009, and December 3, 2010. Apparently, these processing errors may have resulted in inaccurate data appearing on the scanned images of some tax returns.

The notice indicates the errors may include the following:

  1. The organization’s mission description and description of program service accomplishments may not reflect what was originally submitted.
  2. Gross income for special events may be transposed on Form 990, Part VIII.
  3. Other salaries and wages, management and general expenses may not be reported on Form 990, Part IX.
  4. The check boxes on Schedule D, Part V, line 3 for endowment funds may be transposed.

If your Form 990 was electronically filed during this time frame, consider pulling it up on Guidestar to spot-check it for these errors. If your 990 is affected, the notice referenced above should be included in the scanned image of your return. If it is not, consider contacting Guidestar directly at 800.421.8656 or

If the notice is included with your return, anyone viewing the return will see the list of potential errors. Guidestar has indicated it is working with the IRS to obtain accurate copies of the returns. However, if you would like an accurate copy of your return posted on Guidestar earlier, you have the option to provide Guidestar with a corrected copy. To learn more about providing updated information to Guidestar, please click here.

As always, we recommend checking Guidestar approximately three months after filing your Form 990 and periodically after that to make sure your organization’s information is complete and accurate.

Please contact your BKD advisor if you have any questions.

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