The Employer Identification Number (EIN) serves as the Tax Identification number for all businesses and organizations when reporting to the IRS. Since 2010, the IRS started recording a responsible party during the EIN application process. Effective in 2014, the IRS required notification of any changes to Responsible Party information within 60 days of the change.
For tax-exempt organizations, the Responsible Party is generally the same as the "principal officer", which is an officer of the organization who, regardless of title, has ultimate responsibility for implementing the decisions of the organization's governing body, or for supervising the management, administration, or operation of the organization. Typically this officer could be either the individual that presides over the organization or the individual that manages the finances of the organization.
Many small to mid-size tax exempt organizations undergo frequent changes of leadership, particularly with a governing body comprised of volunteers. The primary purpose of keeping the IRS updated with both address and responsible party information is to ensure execution of timely communications and notices. This is particularly important for time-sensitive information that may impact fees and penalties.
Form 8822-B, "Change of Address or Responsible Party - Business" is the primary form used to report changes by all businesses and organizations with an EIN, including tax-exempt organizations. While it appears that Form 990 allows the reporting of some of those changes, it does not seem to include reporting the SSN of the responsible party. Reporting changes on form 990 may not satisfy the 60-day rule as well, so utilizing Form 8822-B to report changes in a timely manner should be standard practice of tax-exempt organizations. This is also important for tax-exempt organizations that file other forms, such as employment taxes.
Go to www.irs.gov/Form8822B for the latest information.