Calibrating the Reliability of Publicly Available Nonprofit Taxable Activity Disclosures: Comparing IRS 990 and IRS 990-T Data

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, March 25, 2008

Posted: 7 May 2008

See all articles by Brad A. Badertscher

Brad A. Badertscher

University of Notre Dame

Michelle Yetman

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

Robert J. Yetman

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

The topic of nonprofit commercialization has received increased attention from various groups including donors, regulators, and researchers. Perhaps the most commercial of all activities undertaken by nonprofits are those considered to be so far removed from an organization's exempt mission that the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) considers them to be taxable. Examination of these taxable activities can provide unique and valuable insights into the effects of purely commercial activities on nonprofit behavior. Nonprofits report their taxable activities on the confidential IRS 990-T. Although some information on taxable activities is reported on the publicly available IRS 990, unavailability of the IRS 990-T has prevented prior examination of its accuracy and reliability. Using a unique data set of otherwise confidential IRS 990-Ts, the authors calibrate the reliability of taxable activities as reported on the IRS 990, providing a roadmap for researchers to follow when examining nonprofits' taxable activities using publicly available data.

Keywords: nonprofit commercialization; unrelated business activities; IRS 990; IRS

JEL Classification: L31, M41, M48, H25, H26

Suggested Citation

Badertscher, Brad A. and Yetman, Michelle and Yetman, Robert, Calibrating the Reliability of Publicly Available Nonprofit Taxable Activity Disclosures: Comparing IRS 990 and IRS 990-T Data (2008). Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, March 25, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1129904

Brad A. Badertscher

University of Notre Dame ( email )

Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States

Michelle Yetman (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

128 AOB IV
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
530-754-7808 (Phone)
530-752-2924 (Fax)

Robert Yetman

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

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