Free the 990! Why Searchable Tax Forms Are Way More Important Than They Sound

Originally published on Inside Philanthropy on June 22, 2015. Named one of the Five Best Ideas of the Day by The Aspen Institute, cross-posted on Time

One rabble rouser has been trying to get the IRS to make individual nonprofit tax forms available in an electronic format anyone can easily search. What may seem to a casual observer like a minor battle would actually be revolutionary for the entire sector.

Quick disclosure: I hate 990s. Not the concept of them, of course, as they are the chief method of accountability that nonprofits entities must file annually in exchange for tax exemption. But I hate just about everything else about them.

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