Charitable Registration Updates: March 2021
Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have made recent changes to their charitable registration requirements. See below for a summary of the changes. Additionally, the District of Columbia has an upcoming deadline. If you fundraise from donors in multiple states and require assistance to stay in compliance with state-by-state registration requirements, please contact us.
District of Columbia: Upcoming Annual Report Deadline
The 2021 Corporate Annual Report for the District of Columbia is due April 1st. Go to CorpOnline and create an account or login if the organization already has an account and file the report and $80.00 filing fee.
Michigan: Required Certificate of Authority
Effective January 1, 2021, the state of Michigan requires all new charities that need to register to solicit in the state to file an Application for Certificate of Authority to Transact Business or Conduct Affairs in Michigan prior to submitting the Initial Charitable Trust/Charitable Solicitation Questionnaire. The Certificate of Authority requires the charity to list a resident agent that resides in the state. An individual can be indicated. If the charity cannot list an individual, then it would need to list a commercial company that provides the service to act as the registered agent in the state. This new requirement makes Michigan the third state that requires a charitable organization to qualify to do business in addition to the registration to fundraise within the jurisdiction.
Minnesota: Electronic Documents Accepted
The Charitable Organization Initial Registration Form and the Annual Report can now be emailed to the state in lieu of mailing the documents. Email the appropriate application along with the attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org with the organization’s name in the subject line. You can send multiple emails if the total size exceeds 25MB – remember to label each email accordingly (e.g. 1 of 4). Note that this email is only for charity registration and not anything else. After submitting the email, an automatic email from the state will be generated in response to confirm receipt. This does not confirm approval of the submission. The filing fee can be paid via credit card. There is a 2.49% or $3.95 non-refundable processing fee depending on the type of credit card used.
Wisconsin: Electronic Documents Accepted
The Annual Report Forms #308, 1943, and 1952 can now be emailed to the state in lieu of mailing the documents. Email the appropriate form along with the attachments to DFICharitableOrgs@wi.gov with the organization’s name in the subject line. We would recommend including the Credential Number as well.
Reminder: the Credential Renewal (renewal filing fee) is submitted online and cannot be renewed until approximately 60 days prior to the renewal due date. The due date is August 1 for all charitable organizations. You will have to check the website periodically between 30 and 60 days prior to the deadline to check when the online system is accepting payment.
Other March Reminders
FYE April 30: The charity’s IRS extension to file the tax return (form 990) expires March 15th. Prepare and submit all registrations that have expired and/or coming due March 15th and in the next month or two.
FYE July 31: File extensions for all states where the charity is registered that expires March 15th and any states whose anniversary* expires in around the same time. If the charity is registered in North Carolina, no further extension will be granted past March 15th. If the charity prepared an audit, it can be submitted with the North Carolina application in lieu of the tax return (form 990).
FYE October 30: The charity’s tax return (form 990) with the IRS is due March 15th. File an extension form 8868 if additional time is needed. Also, file extensions for all states where the charity is registered that expires March 15th and any states whose anniversary* expires in around the same time.
*Note that some states that expire on an anniversary require the registration to be submitted with an extension request solely for the financials (e.g. Florida), or with estimates (e.g. Nevada).
Ellis Carter is a nonprofit lawyer with Caritas Law Group, P.C. licensed to practice in Washington and Arizona. Ellis advises nonprofit and socially responsible businesses on corporate, tax, and fundraising regulations nationwide. Ellis also advises donors with regard to major gifts. To schedule a consultation with Ellis, call 602-456-0071 or email us through our contact form.