CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS & COMPLIANCE BLOG

Nonprofit Compliance: Temporary Changes Impacting Charitable Registration and Renewal

By: Ron Barrett, COGENCY GLOBAL on Thu, May 14, 2020

Nonprofit Compliance - State Charitable Registration and Renewal ChangesAs many states have made accommodations for annual report compliance in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, several states have extended charitable registration due dates, changed or clarified their signature requirements or have made other changes impacting charitable registrations and renewals. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has also announced extensions that impact nonprofit organization filings.

We’ve gathered this information below to serve as a convenient resource for anyone who is involved with nonprofit compliance. Updates will be made as new information relating to charitable registrations and renewals are verified.

IRS Form 990 Extensions

The IRS extended the due date from May 15th to July 15th for filing most information and tax returns, including the Form 990-series (990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-T, etc.) Notice 2020-23, issued by the IRS on April 9th, provides additional relief to organizations by way of an automatic postponement to July 15th, 2020 for federal tax payments and returns with original or extended due dates falling after April 1st and before July 15th.

State-Level Nonprofit Compliance Changes

As of the date of this post, we’ve confirmed nonprofit compliance-related changes for the following U.S. states.

Click the blue button below to access a state-by-state chart of charitable renewal due dates or click individual state names to jump to a specific section. Continue scrolling down to review state changes alphabetically.

Charitable Registration Renewal Guide

Alabama
Alaska
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Illinois
Kansas

Kentucky
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Ohio

Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Utah
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin

Alabama

Alabama’s Charitable Organization Registration office is not currently requiring notarized signature requirements for initial and renewal filings. Charities are allowed to submit a previous year’s 990 for renewals so they may be completed timely. A one-time, 180-day extension remains available to all charities. An online portal is available for electronic filing.

Alaska

The Alaskan AG’s Department of Law office is not making changes in response to the pandemic at this time but will accept registrations past the September 1st registration renewal deadline.

Arkansas

While Arkansas has not issued any new policies for charitable organization registration, there are currently no penalties for late submissions. If an organization can’t complete the notarization requirement at this time, they should submit once this is again possible.

California

The CA Registry of Charitable Trusts honors all IRS extensions, so renewals that were due on May 15th, 2020 are now due July 15th, 2020, in addition to any other extensions available. Note that the registry accepts digital signatures on the Annual Registration Renewal (Form RRF-1).

Colorado

Under the rule adopted on April 3, 2020, charity registration renewals and solicitation campaign financial reports due to the Colorado Secretary of State between April 1st, 2020 and July 15th, 2020 are now due by August 15th, 2020, without the need to file an extension.

Connecticut

Due to current events, the Connecticut Public Charities Unit highly recommends that all charitable registration applications and renewals be submitted online as their ability to receive and process mailed documents and payments will be significantly delayed.

District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)

Charitable solicitation business licenses that expire during the declared emergency will be considered valid and people will have until 45 days after the declared emergency is over to renew their licenses. Corporate biennial report filings for 2020 submitted between April 2nd and June 1st will not incur the late filing fee. (The same is true for trade name renewals.)

Florida

Florida's Emergency Order 2020-003 suspended the imposition of late fees until April 20th, 2020 for charities that register with the department. (Late registration fees are $25 for each month overdue.)

Georgia

The Georgia Secretary of State issued an order granting relief (if certain conditions are met) from filing financial statements that were due on or after March 1st, 2020 or prior to April 30th, 2020, as part of an application to register a charitable organization or renew a registration.  The order grants relief from filing financial statements until June 30th, 2020.

The SOS will accept electronic signatures on all charitable registration and renewal filings, notarization is not required. Applicants and registrants may e-sign documents or submit a separate document authorizing the electronic filing, using “/s/ (NAME)” to indicate the electronic signature. (Additional details and conditions apply, as outlined in this order.)

Also, the Charities Division of the Georgia SOS recently launched a new online platform for electronic filing of initial and renewal charitable registrations.

Hawaii

Although Hawaii has not made any formal changes, state statute sets annual charitable filings due within 10 business days of the organization filing its Form 990 with the IRS. With the IRS extending Form 990 due dates from May 15th, 2020 to July 15th, 2020, Hawaiian annual charitable filing due dates will be similarly extended.

Illinois

Late fees will be suspended for filings made through July 15th, 2020, for organizations that extended their due date to May 15th, 2020 (6/30/2019 FYE filers).

Since March 16th, 2020, the Illinois Charitable Trust Bureau has been operating with reduced staff, which may result in processing delays. If you have questions or concerns about your registration, you can contact the Charitable Trust Bureau at (312) 814-2595.

Kansas

Though the Kansas SOS does not have statutory authority to grant extensions for filing deadlines, they note that no late fees or penalties are levied for late filings.

Kentucky

The Consumer Protection Division will honor the IRS July 15th, 2020 extension. Renewals that were due May 15th, 2020 (for FYE 6/30/2019 filers) now have until July 15th 2020 to file.

Maryland

In accordance with the governor’s extension of state licenses and registrations, the Maryland Secretary of State has automatically extended registrations for charitable organizations, professional solicitors, fundraising counsels, and public safety solicitors until 30 days after the current State of Emergency is terminated. This order only impacts registration due dates that fall on March 12th, 2020 through the end of the State of Emergency.

There is no online filing system, but completed documents may be sent via email to dlcharity_sos@maryland.gov. Maryland requires forms to be signed but will accept an electronic signature or a copied version of the signed page. A check or money order for any renewal fees or late fees is still required.

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Public Charities Division is automatically granting a six-month extension for all fiscal year 2019 annual charity filings. (This extension is in addition to the automatic six-month extension that charities are normally granted.)

Michigan

The Charitable Trust Section is working with their IT department to extend all of the FYE 6/30/2019 registrations by 90 days. (New expiration date would be September 30th, 2020 with the renewal due by September 1st, 2020.)  So far, their office has not determined if this is feasible. For the time being, they are handling extensions manually on a case-by-case basis.  Organizations that will need the extra 90 days can email an extension request to ct_email@michigan.gov.

Minnesota

For soliciting charitable organizations with fiscal year 2019 annual reports due between April 15th, 2020 and July 15th, 2020, the Minnesota Charities Division has automatically extended the due dates by four months. You do not need to request an extension if your reporting deadline falls into this time period, it’s automatically applied.

Mississippi

Renewals due in 2020 on April 15th, May 15th or June 15th were automatically extended by Mississippi’s Charities Division to July 15th, 2020.

Nevada

Organizations set to renew during the current state of emergency (declared March 12th, 2020) have an additional 60 days to pay annual renewal fees once the state of emergency is lifted. Note that the Nevada SOS has suspended all in-person services but continues to provide online services and encourages filing and document submissions through online systems or email.

New Hampshire 

The Charitable Trusts Unit has issued an advisory that it will take no action against organizations for filing an annual report or other required document with a photocopied or scanned signature, including notary public signatures. (Even if the notary public remotely took the oath of the signatory.)

Charitable organizations can already receive a six-month extension to file annual reports by filing an extension from with the annual report fee. The Charitable Trusts Unit will take no action against an organization if it is unable to deliver an extension request or annual report by mail and instead delivers it electronically to charitabletrusts2@doj.nh.gov. If necessary, the annual report fee may be mailed separately from the annual report or extension request, but it must be submitted as soon as possible along with the original extension request (or annual report). Unfortunately, the Unit is not yet equipped to accept merchant card or ACH payments.

For organizations that have already received a six-month extension to file annual reports and now have extended filing deadlines of April 15th, May 15th or June 15th, the Unit will grant requests for further extension to July 15th. To obtain further extension beyond July 15th, email charitabletrusts2@doj.nh.gov  with a subject line/message header of “Further Extension Request” and include the organization’s name and NH Registration number in the body of the message.

New Jersey

New Jersey's Charities Registration Section already allows organizations an extension request for an additional 180 days to file their renewal registration. A later determination will be made whether extensions beyond 180 days are necessary due to COVID-19.

In the meantime, organizations that are eligible to file the usual extension should do so at their earliest convenience. Filing an extension online will generate an ‘extension pending registration’ status. No other verification of extension approval is given, since only organizations that are eligible to file extensions will see the extension option online.

Note that organizations already on extension have been given an additional six months to complete their renewal registrations. These organizations have had a full year in which to complete their registration renewals.

New Mexico

All filings due in 2020 can be extended to the end of the year (until December 27th, 2020), and the New Mexico Charities Unit may accommodate additional extensions if needed. Extensions are not automatic, extension requests must be filed online (NM-COROS). Email Charity.Registrar@nmag.gov for more details.

New York

The Charities Bureau in New York currently grants an automatic six-month extension to charities required to file an annual financial report with their office (e.g. an organization with a fiscal year ending December 31st, 2019 would have an annual financial report due May 15th, 2020 but with the automatic extension, the report is not due until November 15th, 2020).

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an additional six-month extension will be granted to any organization with an already extended filing deadline falling after February 15th, 2020.

Ohio

For organizations with a May 2019 fiscal year end, Ohio’s Charitable Law Section will automatically extend the final annual report filing deadline from April 15th, 2020 to June 15th, 2020. No action is required to receive this extension. The annual report final filing deadlines for organizations with a June 2019 fiscal year end will be automatically extended from May 15th, 2020 to July 15th, 2020.

The Section is currently unavailable to answer registration questions by phone but is responding to emails sent to CharitableRegistration@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.

Oklahoma 

The Charitable Organizations Section will accept a copy or a docu-signature for charitable registration filings. There is no renewal filing extension period but if an IRS Form 990 filing extension is granted, organizations can file the Oklahoma charitable renewal using financial information from the most recent 990.

There is an electronic process for filing if the organization has an ‘active’ status with the office but if the status is ‘expired’, the organization will need to complete the downloadable form version of the filing.

Oregon 

The Charitable Activities Section in Oregon has automatically extended the due dates for the Form CT-12, CT-12F, and CT-12S annual financial reports, and increased the maximum extension period so that all reports due between March 15th, 2020 and July 15th, 2020 are now due by August 15th, 2020. For organizations that are eligible for a longer extension, submit an extension request on or before August 15th. (For example, if your organization’s 2019 report is initially due on May 15th, 2020, file an extension request by August 15th if you would like to extend the deadline to November 15th, 2020.) Oregon will accept electronic signatures as well as scanned, signed documents.

Pennsylvania

On March 20th, 2020, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations went live with an online system for filing initial and renewal registrations. Currently, the Bureau is only accepting filings online.

The Bureau has also announced that registration renewal deadlines falling during April, May and June of 2020 are extended for three months. Registration renewals are required to be postmarked by the 15th day of the 14th month following the close of the organization’s fiscal year. If the renewal due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the actual date will be the next business day. (For example, August 15th, 2020 is a Saturday, therefore the renewal date is extended to Monday, August 17th, 2020.)

Note that the extension of registration renewal deadlines (above) will create one minor issue when using the online system for renewal. The online registration is designed to automatically calculate late fees. If your renewal registration is submitted on time (e.g. by April 15, May 15 or June 15), you will not be charged late fees. If your organization utilizes the extension, your renewal registration will accrue late fees based on the programming of the online system. The Bureau will refund those late fees to the credit card used to pay for the registration.

Rhode Island

The Charitable Organization Section’s standard 6-month extension request policies apply (for financials only).

South Carolina

The South Carolina Secretary of State’s office has extended the due dates for charity financial reports (IRS Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, or the Secretary of State's Annual Financial Report Form) as follows:

  • Filings originally due on April 15th, 2020, will be due by July 15th, 2020.
  • Filings originally due on May 15th, 2020 will be due by August 15th, 2020.

Electronic signatures are acceptable for paper filings.

Currently, there are no extensions available for filing charitable registrations in South Carolina. When filing registrations online for charities, professional fundraisers, or raffles, no actual signatures are required since an electronic certification page captures the required acknowledgment.

Tennessee

Tennessee's Division of Charitable Solicitations has communicated that no additional extensions are available at this time (although their usual extensions are applicable) and that the extensions offered by the IRS do not impact due dates for renewal filings in Tennessee.

However, the Division verbally communicated to COGENCY GLOBAL that no late fees will be imposed in June or July for filings received after the due date, if received by July 31st, 2020.

Original signatures are preferred when possible, but the Division will allow for a copy of the signature. The office will work with organizations on an individual basis for any special needs.

Utah

The Utah Division of Consumer Protection will not charge late fees to charitable organizations that were unable to file a timely renewal by April 1st. Contact dcp-charities@utah.gov for an extension and file as soon as possible. Charities with a renewal date of July 1st, 2020 should plan to file on time, although further adjustments may be made as necessary. Digital signatures are acceptable for charitable registration and renewal filings.

Virginia

Virginia's Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs (OCRP) allows for a six-month extension upon request. For 6/30/2019 FYE filers, extended renewals are due May 15th, 2020 but OCRP will consider an additional extension upon request, on a case-by-case basis.

Washington 

Due to the IRS May 15th filing deadline being extended to July 15th, 2020, the Charities Program office has extended the Washington renewal deadline (for FYE 6/30/2019 filers) from May 31st, 2020 to July 31st, 2020.

For 12/31/2019 calendar-year filers, Washington is taking into consideration the events that are occurring and requests that organizations, when possible, proactively communicate issues with submitting renewals on time. While the office has not extended renewal deadlines for 12/31/2019 filers, late fees are being suspended for charitable organizations, charitable trusts, and fundraisers that may have missed their filing deadline or cannot file on time.

West Virginia

The West Virginia Charities Division has not changed due date requirements but still allows for the usual 90-day extension request. Request an extension in writing by mail or by email to charities@wvsos.gov. The signature and notarization requirements also remain the same but West Virginia will accept e-notarizations.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions will allow digital signatures and though due dates remain unchanged, the office will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Nonprofits that cannot file on time should provide the expected date of compliance and a brief explanation of the circumstances.

 

Still have questions specific to nonprofit compliance? Our team is here to help.

 

Additional information for coronavirus-related changes:

 

This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered, or relied upon, as legal advice.

Topics: Nonprofit Registration and Compliance, Charitable Solicitation Registration, Nonprofit