The IRS imposed a postcard return on non-profit societies before the State of California. By now every society should have this filing on their Treasurer’s Calendar. If this form is not filed for three years, the IRS (like the state of California), will revoke the societies non-profit status. This means all income is taxable and donations to the society made by individuals are not deductible on their tax returns.
So….. be sure you are up to date with this filing.
You can check your society’s status on the website of the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Click on find a non-profit and type in your society’s name. On the left hand side you will see the last year that IRS has a filing for. Note that if you have already filed a 2012 return it will not show up here. On the right hand side you will see a link to filed 990 returns. Postcards do not appear here, use the left hand information.
The NCCS home page offers links to file the 990N, for those society’s with annual income under and the 990. Unless your organization makes over $100K these filings are free.
The IRS has links to filings and a page to check status of organizations at - Filing Page for Charities and Non-Profits. This page, though, is difficult to use. In checking three organizations that I know are current in their filings I could not find them by name. When I put in their FEIN they did show up. Use the NCCS site first. This check list is not updated for 2012 filings either. If you have filed a 2012 990N the system will not let you continue, so it is better to try to file if you are not certain.
Again, print out the filing just in case something goes awry.
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Do NOT Forfeit your society’s tax exempt status!!!
As noted in the last blog, the state has not been good about letting societies know what forms need to be filed. Starting with the tax year 2010 all societies are required to file an annual return. This is very important to note. There is a 3 year forgiveness and we are now in the third year of that. If you do not file this year you may lose your Tax Exempt Status. That would necessitate starting the process all over.
For most societies this means a 199-N. This can easily be filed online. You will need your gross income for the filing year and your Tax ID. An explanation of what you will need can be found at Filing Requirements.
You will find a fill in version of the 199 online. Once you’ve filled it out you can save and print it for filing by mail. It is possible to file for 2010 and 2011 at the same time. If you hit the back arrow on your browser after the filing goes through, the information will still be in the form. Change the year, gross income and anything else that might have been different for that filing year and submit again.
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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.
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