Monthly Archives: March 2015

When Should I Start State Charitable Solicitation Registration?

When should a charitable organization start preparing for state charitable solicitation registration? The answer is both simple and detailed. The simple answer? Now. Whether you need to register in one state or multiple, there is enough information to pull together, that it is a good idea to gather due dates, requirements, and any data you can as early as possible. At least that is where you can start.

Initial Registration

The more detailed answer provides the map to how to continue with the process. Initial state registrations are due as soon as you anticipate soliciting in the state and are renewed at different times based on individual state deadlines. For any state in which you have not registered but already solicit or intend to solicit, the entire registration packet and financial information (as determined by the state) is due immediately. For most states, soliciting without being registered is punishable by fines or additional civil penalties.

Registration Renewal and Annual Reporting

If you have already registered, you will need to file some sort of registration renewal or annual financial reporting.  States generally set their deadlines for this based on IRS deadlines, end of organizational fiscal year, or a set date.  The registration information can be gathered at any point usually, since it tends to be questions about the organization, its governance, and purpose. This information can get quite specific and will need to come from many different sources in your organization — CEO, Office Manager, Finance, Board, etc. To make sure you have no delays in filing, collect this information throughout the year or set deadlines within your organization for providing each component.

Having your registration information compiled early will allow you time to pull together your annual financial reporting, which you will not have until your IRS filing and audit or financial review, as required, are completed.

Exemption

All the above is true, unless your organization is exempt from the registration requirement in the states where you solicit. Plan time to review requirements in each of these states to determine whether or not you will even need to register, and if not, whether there are exemption reporting requirements, since some states have exemption forms.

Organization is Key

With every aspect of state charitable solicitation registration the more you are organized with your requirements, data and deadlines, the easier it will be. Simple Charity Registration can help with all of the above. It will provide links and information to help you determine where you need to register, allow you to enter information as it is available to you, provide a registration checklist, and send you due date reminders. Want to be organized? Get started now.

What is the Difference Between Registration Renewal and Annual Reporting?

In the world of state charitable solicitation registration, there are many terms that are used seemingly interchangeably, but do have different meanings. Two of these terms are ‘Registration Renewal’ and ‘Annual Reporting’. What they have in common is that both have to do with maintaining a charitable organization’s solicitation filing with a particular state in the years following initial registration. What they mean for the amount of filing can be very different.

Almost every state that requires charitable solicitation registration requires some type of annual reporting. Essentially, this reporting is thought of in two elements: the updating, or renewal, of the information contained in solicitation registration and yearly financial reporting, or annual report.

The distinction becomes important for organizations that file in more than one state because they have to remain organized in which state is expecting what forms and when. While most states require both types of submission, some, like Illinois, require only annual financial reporting with no registration renewal.

Others can make a more complicated distinction, which often involves whether or not they offer deadline extensions. Since accurate financial documentation is subject to when an organization files with the IRS, some states will offer extensions on the annual report, while marking firm deadlines for the registration renewal. Maryland’s renewal due date is six months from the charity’s fiscal year end, but they allow extensions on annual reporting that coincide with the extensions offered on the 990 by the IRS. Still yet, Tennessee and others make it a bit easier and offer extensions on the filing of both elements.

It is important for nonprofit organizations to understand the requirements of the individual states’ charitable solicitation processes. This is particularly true for nonprofits required to do multiple state filings. Resources such as Simple Charity Registration can help your organization manage deadlines, access state requirements, and streamline the process. Get started now.