NAICU Washington Update

IRS Set to Launch College and University Study

A senior Internal Revenue Service official announced during a recent meeting with higher education tax representatives that the IRS will soon mail out its questionnaire to colleges and universities as part of its review of the charitable activities of these institutions. The IRS had announced in May that it would be conducting the study, and that it would be similar to its study of hospitals conducted last year (See Week in Review, May 28, 2008).

A questionnaire will be sent to approximately 400 public and private four-year colleges and universities. The official - Ron Schultz, senior technical advisor to the Tax Exempt Division Commissioner - indicated the questionnaire would be lengthy, but not difficult to complete. Institutions will have 90 days to respond.

The questionnaire will cover four areas. The first will include demographics and other organizational information. The second will cover activities reportable on the Form 990-T. A third section will deal with endowment funds - including types of funds, whether they are restricted or unrestricted, and the types of investments the endowments use. The last section will cover executive compensation, and will specifically request information on the six highest-paid employees at the institution, including coaches.

Schultz indicated the questionnaire would land on campuses in the next few days, and will likely be sent to the individual on file with the IRS as the campus contact. If you receive the IRS questionnaire, please contact Karin Johns at NAICU.

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