Society Finances – California Charities Filing

California State Government has not always been good about letting societies know what they need to file.  A few years ago societies began getting letters informing them that they were delinquent filing forms with the Attorney General’s Office.  The fact that such forms existed was a surprise to many and sent many scrambling for old records as they caught up missing filings for prior years.  All 501(c)3 entities in California need to file an initial CT-1 and an annual Rf-1 return.  You are also required to have a permit for raffles and will need to file a return when they are complete. Neglecting to do so can affect the society’s ability to collect – donations.

Check your society’s status by using Registry Search on the Attorney General’s Charities Information web-page.

If you do not find your society and you are a 501(c)3 you will need to file the CT1.  You can fill in the form but then must print and mail to the State, with a $25 registration fee.

The rrf1 must be filed annually.  It is due on the fifteenth day of the fifth month after the end of the fiscal year.  For those societies that use the calendar year, it is due May 15.  For societies with an annual income under $25,000 there is no filing fee.  For those with higher income the fee is progressive, topping out at $300 if you raise more than $3M.  Don’t we wish?

If your society holds raffles you, check the Raffle Checklist for filing requirements.

You will find links to other resources and websites at Resources that can help you run your society wisely.

Part 4 of 7

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Cath Madden Trindle
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