Nonprofit organizations: To do before year-end

Year-end is a busy time for many reasons, and many administrative tasks must be done for compliance. Below is a list of action items, sorted by category that you can use as a check list. Hopefully, some items are already complete. Bill Sims, the Salmon Sims Thomas partner who has a blog for churches and ministries,, has the same list on his blog, with a few additions that are exclusive to churches. Here you go:

 Donations/gifts received

–         Prepare receipts for contributions of $250 or more.

–         File Form 8282 for receipt of donated non-cash items valued at $5,000 or more and disposed of by you within three years.

–         Request Form 1098-C from the IRS if you received a donation of a car, boat or plane. (Call 800-829-3676 and ask for five copies.)


–         Make sure that you have a file for each employee with pertinent personnel records and forms.

–         Ask employees to review W-4 forms for accuracy of name, address, SSN and to check withholding status.

–         Prepare W-2 information

–         Prepare the 4th quarter 941 report, due January 31st. (This is the quarterly federal tax form that reports employment taxes.)

–         Review reimbursements for substantiation. (This should be an ongoing practice.)

–         Prepare a 1099-misc form for all independent contractors and service providers who you have paid $600 or more in 2011. This includes all of the companies you hire to consult or do maintenance work.

–         Review payments of health insurance for employees. You may qualify for a 25% refund of the cost if you have less than 25 employees, the average annual salary is less
than $50,000 and if your organization pays at least 50% of the group insurance premium. Then, you’ll need to file form 990T and Form 8941.

–         Be aware of excess benefit transactions by reviewing IRS section 4958.


–         Have an annual board meeting, if this has not yet happened in 2011.

–         Remove old board members and add new members.

–         Make sure that you have a signed conflict of interest statement from each board member.


–         Make sure that you have a readily-available copy of your 501(c)(3) letter.

–         Review insurance policies to be sure that you’re adequately covered. (Do this prior to the board meeting, so that issues can be addressed.)

–         Review bank accounts to see if the structure is meeting your needs.

–         Put all of the bank statements for the year in one location, including cancelled check records.

–         Determine if you owe unrelated business income tax.

–         Review your Web site for accuracy. Things change, but sometimes the Web site stays the same.

Prioritize the list above based on your organizations’ needs, and you’ll be in great shape to start a new year.