SPECIAL REPORT-Finally Complied
Ranch Matters (RM) published on 1/29/22, “PAPERS PLEASE” regarding the budget preparation process and the importance of the mandatory filing of the IRS FORM 990 by the Ranch Association.
IRS rules requires all 990’s to be made public and available immediately for public inspection and or copying during regular business hours.
One week ago today, we stopped by the Ranch Administration Office and asked for the most recent 990’s on file. As reported, the Ranch bookkeeper refused to provide the 990 reports pursuant to federal tax laws. She admitted to having “access to that information, but not the authority to hand them out.” The bookkeeper was confused about the rules and suggested disclosure was linked to the Ranch by-laws and referred us to Ranch Manager Judy Lapora, who was off until February 1, 2022.
The following day RM called the Administration Office and again requested the 990 copies and was denied. We were sent to Manager Lapora’s voice mail and left a detailed message.
On February 1, Lapora emailed the following reply:
“John, I received your voice mail message today, requesting copies of the IRS form 990. I am including a link to the IRS website that is available to the public for these forms. Regarding FY 2020, we have not received the final copies of the tax returns. From our accountant, Capstone. After they are filed, they will be available on this site (IRS) as well.”
She included the IRS website address.
Today we responded to Lapora’s email with the following:
“Judy, Your email response fails to address that we stopped by the Admin Office last Thursday
(1/27/22) and asked for copies of the 990 reports in accordance with the IRS rules. The receptionist referred us to the Ranch Bookkeeper who refused to provide the 990 reports pursuant to federal law. She told us she has ‘access to that information, but not the authority to hand them out.’ She was also confused about the rules and suggested disclosure was linked to the Ranch by-laws and referred us to you.
Additionally, your response deliberately ignores the IRS rules governing public inspection and copying of the 990 reports. You knew we were following the federal guidelines regarding public access/inspection/copying, yet you sent us to the IRS website. Again, you did not comply.
The IRS website does not reflect the 990 filing for the fiscal year 5/01 2019 to 4/30 2020.
That’s the 990 we asked for last week. Further, the IRS website 990’s appear to be drafts because they are unsigned.
We would like the signed copies-not drafts of the last 3 years including the aforementioned 990 filing. We plan on stopping by the office later today and would like to pick up our requested- signed 990’s.
Thank you in advance for your assistance and cooperation.”
A couple hours later Lapora responded:
“John, The copies on the IRS website are not signed because they are electronically filed by Capstone. You are welcome to come in to pick up a copy of the IRS 990s and 990Ts for years 2017, 2018 and 2019 per your request. Also, we have decided to post the 990s and 990Ts on our website which should be available this week. When we have the final submitted 2020 return, it will be posted there as well. Per IRS public disclosure rules, if we post them to our website, we are not required to provide a copy. However, they will still be available for review in the office, please see below.
AN ORGANIZATION IS NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A COPY OF ITS FORM 990 IF THE ORGANIZATION HAS MADE THAT FORM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE (e.g., through internet posting), BUT MUST NEVERTHELESS MAKE THE FORM AVAILABLE IN-PERSON INSPECTION.”
Judy Lapora. Ranch Manager
Lapora FINALLY COMPLIED and provided us with the requested 990’s this afternoon.
Ranch Matters Staff