Once you’ve become a nonprofit organization, you need to be aware of the filings in order to keep your charity in compliance. The required filings vary by state. Most states require you to file:
1. Annual Report – also known as periodic report or annual registration. Some states (such as Georgia and California) require the organizations to file their first report within 90 days of incorporation; some states (New Jersey, Illinois & Colorado) require the report to be filed prior to the incorporation anniversary; and another group of states (Pennsylvania and Texas) require the annual report to be filed once in every 10 years. Please contact your local Secretary of state for more information on the deadlines, the forms and method of filing.
“Most states require nonprofits file an Annual report to renew their corporate registration”
2. Employment filings – if the organization will have employees, it is required to register with the Department of Revenue and/or Department of Labor and maintain good employment records. Organizations with paid employees have additional payroll filing requirements. These organizations are responsible for withholding and paying employment taxes, including federal, FICA and applicable state taxes. Each state also has its own filing requirements. 501c3 organizations don’t pay federal unemployment (FUTA) taxes on their employees’ wages; however, all other tax-exempt organizations must pay FUTA taxes.
“Keep records of all W-2 and 1099s forms your nonprofit is responsible for”
3. Solicitation Registration – currently, there are 41 states that require nonprofits to register with them in order to solicit funds. The state registration rules, forms and exemptions vary by state.
“Most states require separate registration to solicit funds from general public”
4. 990s – to maintain 501c3 status, most exempt organizations must submit financial and other information annually on Form 990. The specific required 990 form depends on the amount of annual gross receipts. Small organizations with gross receipts under a set limit may typically file Form 990N as an electronic postcard. Failure to file required forms for three consecutive years will result in automatic loss of exemption status. Currently, there are approximately 700,000 organizations that have lost their 501c3 status due to not filing their tax returns on time.
“Don’t get your 501c3 status revoked! File your nonprofit’s tax return each year”
5. Business Tax Return – a 501c3 charity must file a business tax return if it receives unrelated business income (UBI) that exceeds current limits, including income from advertising, most gaming activities and merchandise sales unrelated to the organization’s stated purpose.
“Nonprofits with UBI must file an additional tax form”
Please contact the corporate division of the Secretary of state, Department of Labor, or Department of Revenue for more information on the filings.